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Essay on Corruption Problem in Malaysia

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Corruption is a crime where a person gets benefits like freedom, contracts or privileges from another person after giving money, gift or even entertainment as bribes. Generally, corruption is defined as the abuse of entrusted power, status or wealth for private and dishonest gain. According to the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), corruption can be classified into four forms, namely, requesting or receiving favors, offering favors, making false claims and misusing job or position. Based on Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International, Malaysia scored 47 points out of 100 (with a scale of 0 to 100, where 100 indicates very clean, corruption-free country and 0 reflects a deep-rooted, systemic corruption problem). This means that Malaysia is merely on average score, even lower in the test of integrity. In other words, Malaysia is still wreathed in the smoke of corruption. In order to shield our country from the corrupt climate, the factors that attributed to the causes of corruption need to be figured out before relevant measures are being suggested.

First and foremost, the most significant factor leads to corruption is the dark personality traits of a human. Greediness is one of them. Greed is a selfish desire and excessively lust for more than deserved, especially in the form of wealth, power, position or any other materialistic possessions. Everyone has a tendency to be greedy. Greediness leads to unfettered desire which challenges one’s moral boundary. Regardless of personal integrity, a greed person will do whatever, including corruption, in order to satisfy his own desires (Dimant & Tosato, 2017). People feel contented when they taste the personal advantage brought by corruption. Neglecting their moral basis, they will involve more in corruption as they are addicted or used to enjoy the short-term benefit provided by this delinquency. Another dark personality trait is selfishness. I bet most of us used to hear or used to say some arguments such as, ‘Everyone does it’, ‘I just want to minimize my losses’, and ‘I don’t harm others!’. The innate human behaviors of rationalizing own wrongdoing corrode the society when everyone thinks that corruption is not a matter. Consequently, society is covered by the atmosphere of dishonest and immoral. In short, not only the society leaders but everyone ought to promote corruption.

Another cause of corruption is the decline of social ethical sensitivity. Nowadays, Malaysian still overlooks the depth of the crisis of corruption. Most are still living in cultural environments that condone corruption. It is sad but is true that most citizens are merely anti-corruption verbally but in fact, they support and even admire these crooked practices unintentionally. For instance, some companies hired accountants, auditors, financial advisors, and any other professional bodies so that the companies can utilize the specialists to engage in illegal practices such as evading government taxes (Salas, 2018). Exploiting legal loophole and playing dirty trick seem to be immoral, but those succeed to do so usually get rewards, instead of publishment. Additionally, mutual screening among society also making corruption become less detectable. There is the likelihood that someone who realizes of corruption happening but keeps silent. Perhaps because of selfishness, or perhaps because of cowardice. Whatever the reason is, once they choose to cover up the corrupt individuals, they are indirectly agreeing with corrupt behavior. Hence, corruption occurs more frequently as nobody has adequate courage and willingness to denounce corrupt practices.

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To sum up, low levels of civic participation make corruption more inconspicuous. Political monopolization wreaks havoc in our country by catalyzing occurrence of corruption. Over-dominion of an individual leads to power abuse of the authorizer. The thing goes worse if the authorizer has no service-oriented spirit but misuse politics for their personal interests. The authorizer may involve in corruption in order to content his personal greed. Besides, high levels of bureaucracy are also the main factor of corruption. There are a few kinds of research which claim that administrative and political structure inefficiency enlarge the possibility of corruption occurs. Tanzi & Davoodi, 1998, suggested that “the existence of regulations and authorizations gives a kind of monopoly power to the officials who must authorize or inspect the activity”. In other words, the more power of a social leader, the lesser the transparency and consequentially, the likelihood of his involvement in corruption augmented.

There is no silver bullet to combat corruption. One of the effective strategies is by reducing impunity for corruption involves. Stricter law enforcement is necessary to ensure those corrupt are penalized and interrupt the cycle of impunity. An independent, transparent and professional legal framework is essential where enforcement and prosecutor sectors can react to technical criteria without influenced by political power plays. In an effort to address this issue, Malaysia has come up with the official establishment of the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on 1st January 2009. MACC has a role in monitoring the nation’s anti-corruption efforts. The independence, transparency, and professionalism of MACC guarantee its effectivity and efficiency in solving corruption problem. Successful enforcement approaches reduce the possibility of police and prosecutors to have a vested interest to a minimum, whilst bribery between politicians become easier detected. Moreover, numerous studies have pointed out that the key to fighting against corruption is by promoting transparency. In the business context, transparency means the quality of being honest and open. It ensures that public sectors, civil servants, and organizations to act visibly and scrupulously, to bear public scrutiny (Rouse, n.d.). Regain of freedom of speech and accessibility of information among the public are the products of increasing transparency. Whistleblower protection mechanisms assure press and activists can speak, criticize freely the wrongdoing of government without fear of retaliation. Without political hindrance, news of intended corrupt practices of public figures spread rampantly via social media and other communications means, and hence, raise the level of public’s awareness. Improper action of civil leader has no way to be secret. Therefore, government bodies unable to abuse their political power to gain any private benefits. Simultaneously, levels of civil participation get a positive outcome. Hence, cultivate transparency is a must to ensure Malaysia steps forward to a corruption-free country.

Another significant strategy to nip the problem of corruption in the bud is by empowering citizens. In ‘How to Solve Corruption: 5 Keys Ingredients’, (2016) citizens are the most crucial component of a democratic country, such as Malaysia, where citizens play a significant role in demanding accountability and legitimacy of society leaders, and thus preventing corruption. Arouse Malaysians’ patriotism spirit leads to the readiness of citizens to serve and protect the country from the smoke of corruption. For instance, an involvement of Malaysians in monitoring local elections, making them keep an eye on all suspicious actions and courageous enough to speak out once discover the unreasonable cases like leakages of funds or emerging of buying votes. Therefore, community monitoring initiatives indeed contribute to the detection of corruption and improve the quantity and quality of public services indirectly. Besides, integrity should be promoted to the public. Schools and universities are responsible for educating youth about ethics and values, while private corporations are encouraged to practice business integrity and promote these ideas to become more mainstream. In a certain degree, these can perk up the citizens’ demand for anti-corruption and consequently, protecting Malaysia’s cleanliness and harmony.

Undoubtedly, corruption brings numerous negative impacts in a country politically, economically and socially. Corruption seems to be rampant across Malaysia, however, it is avoidable. No one is isolated and needless in the process of guarding corruption. In my opinion, improvements in Malaysia will only be made if there is a strong political will to transform, a comprehensive measure is adopted and sufficient supports from society. I personally think that Malaysia should look out cautiously and scrupulously the focal point to make changes that will bring about real improvement. Conclusively, corruption can only be kept curb if government representatives and society members work together. Corruption would not be rooted out in one big sweep. Instead, fighting corruption is a step-by-step, project-by-project process. Indeed, Malaysia has still a long way to go in fighting against corruption. But I believe that with the close and stable cooperation between government and civil society, the day Malaysia is admired for its integrity and become the model nation of the world is just around the corner.

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Essay on Corruption Problem in Malaysia. (2023, January 31). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 24, 2023, from
“Essay on Corruption Problem in Malaysia.” Edubirdie, 31 Jan. 2023,
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