22% of civil servants susceptible to graft: Latheefa (Updated)

19 Aug 2019 / 23:05 H.

SHAH ALAM: Nearly a quarter of all civil servants are prepared to take a bribe if they have the power or are in a position to make a decision, according to Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Latheefa Koya.

She said a research by the MACC showed that 22.1% of civil servants were happy to accept bribes.

“Of the 4,860 individuals arrested from 2014 to June this year, 46.3% are civil servants. A total of 53.4% of them were aged 40 and below,” she told a press conference after attending the Selangor state government’s corruption-free pledge.

She said most of those arrested were in the procurement sector.

Latheefa said the MACC will be working with the Education Ministry to include integrity and the importance of fighting corruption in the school syllabus.

“This is to teach the younger generation of the dangers of graft,” she added.

On the pledge, Latheefa said it was self-regulatory and a preventive measure that should be emulated by all states.

She said the Freedom of Information enactment, when passed, would enable the people to gain access to information about government officials and this could go a long way in the fight against corruption.

“It would be best if all state assemblymen also declare their assets. Anyone who has access to public funds and makes decisions in regards to those funds should declare their assets. This is to avoid misuse of public funds.”

She said the same rule should apply to all MPs. “Even donations they receive must be declared. Don’t wait until they are being investigated. It’ll be too late by then,” she added.

Latheefa said the MACC was also looking into proposing laws that would allow the authorities to look at people’s lifestyle and ascertain if their income matched that lifestyle.

Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari said the state already had all the mechanisms and commitment to help tackle graft.

He said the pledge was now limited to state executive councillors because they had executive powers. “Information of each exco member’s wealth is available on the state government website.”

Amirudin said state assemblymen could be included if there was a need. “If a state assemblyman misuses his constituency allocation, action will be taken against him,” he added.

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