KUALA LUMPUR: Education to fight corruption must start early as the number of graft cases involving civil servants is high, said Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation.
Its senior vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said corruption is a serious matter as it was found that 4,860 civil servants were detained for graft from 2014 until June this year, according to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
A survey by MACC also found that 22.1 per cent of respondents who are in the public sector said they are willing accept bribes if they were in a position of power.
“The implications of corruption by civil servants are huge. Their misconduct will cause billions of ringgit when the allocation for the people did not reach the target groups. When they are convicted and imprisoned, their families will also be ashamed and affected.
“The internal audit system in government ministries and departments also need to be reinforced so that there will be a better control of public fund management. The internal audit system must be effective and efficient to be able to detect irregularities.
“Checks and balances must be built into approval and procurement process so that there will be no room for fraudulent practices. The monitoring system also needs to be strengthened so that the effectiveness of controls and the integrity of transactions can be evaluated effectively,” Lee said in a statement today.
He added that there should be a new subject introduced or included in training programmes or existing syllabus for civil servants including those organised by the National Institute of Public Administration (INTAN).
He stressed that there is also a need to implement new curriculum in schools to allow students to learn about the negative effects of corruption and why it is unacceptable.
MACC also found that 16 per cent of 1,000 university students were willing to accept a bribe, while 18.5 per cent would accept a bribe if they did not have to face any action.
Another survey by Integrity Institute of Malaysia (IIM) on the Students' Perception of Corruption, revealed that one in every three local university students thinks that receiving a present in the form of money, goods or service in return for services rendered did not amount to corruption.
“This is crucial as it was reported that a total of 2,238 youths involved in graft were arrested from 2013 till May 2017.
“We have to accept the fact that corruption in Malaysia is a matter of utmost concern and we need to address this menace in our society from a young age.
“Educating them early by instilling good values and integrity can help develop a culture of honesty and trust and become a way of life for our future leaders,” he said.