KUCHING (Dec 9): Civil servants comprised the largest group of people caught for corruption-related offences in Malaysia, said Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki.
He said that based on MACC statistics, more than half of those caught by MACC every year are those working in the civil service.
He revealed that a survey conducted in 2018 revealed that 418 or 11 per cent of the 3,810 respondents comprising civil servants had responded they would commit corruption if given power and opportunity.
“This phenomenon should worry us all. The absence of integrity when one has the power and opportunity, is the reason for the civil servant to be involved in corruption,” he said in his main address during the Sarawak-level International Anti Corruption Day (HARA) 2020 today.
His speech was read by MACC Sarawak director Mohd Zaki Hassan. Minister of Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian officiated at the launch held at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here.
According to Azam, most corruption cases involving civil servants involved soliciting and accepting bribes.
“This matter is a bleeding area to the civil service,” he said.
Azam disclosed that 40 civil servants in Sarawak have come forward to report on corrupt practices in their respective organisations from 2017 until last year.
He pointed out these 40 civil servants in Sarawak were among 364 civil servants throughout the country who were recognised nationwide for reporting corruption and were rewarded with incentives totaling RM670,466.
“The 40 of them were rewarded with incentives and certificates. They had reported corruption cases involving total value of RM68,710 within those last three years. The total incentives rewarded to them (for reporting thee cases) was RM51,210,” he added.
He also said MACC remains committed in enforcement, prevention and awareness efforts because corruption and power abuse would not stop even during this Covid-19 pandemic.
On this year’s HARA 2020 theme for Malaysia, he said the theme ‘Local Authorities Fight Corruption’ is chosen since the local authorities (LAs) play a big role in the development of a state, region or district.
“The LAs staff are the front liners in public delivery. As the front liners, I believe the LAs’ staff face all kinds of behaviours from the public and they also face various attempts of corruption and abuse of power when they did not fulfill the request of some people,” he said.
As such, he hoped that this year’s campaign would encourage those in the LAs to report to MACC if they receive any bribe offers and fight corruption in order to improve their image and credibility.
The event today was also witnessed remotely by officers and staff from the various local councils in Sarawak through video-conferencing.
Also present were Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Integrity and Ombudsman) Datuk Talib Zulpilip and Assistant Minister of Local Government and Housing Datu Dr Penguang Manggil.