Sunday, October 5, 2014

Malaysia's Corruption is Nearly Double the Asia-Pacific Average

According to E&Y, corruption in Malaysia is still a serious and shameful scourge.

The Asia-Pacific Fraud Survey Report Series 2013 polled 681 executives in China, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and South Korea. Those polled were employed at corporations with a turnover in excess of $500 million, ranging from the industrial sector to financial services, retail and natural resources. 

"Fraudulent practices are on the rise, and there is a disconnect between the policies that are in place and how they are applied in practice," said Chris Fordham, EY Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services Managing Partner of Asia-Pacific, in the report. 

About 39% of respondents said that bribery or corrupt practices happened widely in Malaysia, a figure which is nearly double the Asia-Pacific average of 21%. In addition, 29% of respondents said that bribery or corrupt practices here have increased due to tough economic times and increased competition. 

The report also revealed that respondents felt that while some countries in Asia had strong anti-bribery and corruption policies, they did not work in practice. Around 40% of respondents said their companies have anti-bribery polices or codes of conduct in place and 35% confirmed that their senior management has communicated its commitment to these principles. 

E&Y also found that the risk of fraud, bribery and corruption were greater in growth markets. "This may be due to a weak control environment that results in policies and procedures being implemented differently from global compliance frameworks. 

"Companies operating in local markets may also feel compelled to operate in line with local business culture, resulting in conflicts with global compliance regimes," the report noted. E&Y found 4% of the respondents "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that it was all right to offer cash payments to win business. 

"It should be zero, because companies have a policy of zero tolerance towards bribery," said Torsten Duwenhorst, an E&Y partner. 

Prime Minister Najib Razak has staked his premiership on six National Key Result Areas (NKRA), of which “Reducing Corruption” was one of the most important. Najib and his team have taken great pains to point out to Malaysians and foreigners the “efforts” and “successes” in achieving the key performance indicators (KPIs) of the NKRA. 

In 2011, Pemandu had boasted that the initiatives taken have shown tremendous results in eradicating corruption. The government also pointed out that “the effectiveness of the actions taken is being slowly felt and acknowledged by the general public”. That is the government’s claim anyway. 

Najib is not worried about the E&Y report. He knows they are trying hard to undermine all the good work done by him. He doesn’t buy their arguments. They are just jealous of his accomplishments – that’s all. 

I think they should be arrested because they are making seditious statements and bad-mouthing the country! Najib, throw the book at them! 

Last Thursday, I was at the Sunway University Toastmasters Club meeting. It was another good meeting with three out of the four speeches impressing me. And better still, the evaluations were all of a good standard. What's more, all 5 Table Topics speakers were non-Toastmasters. We started on time and we also ended on time. What more can I ask for? An 8 over 10 score for this meeting. 

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