Businesses more corrupt, survey shows one in three Malaysians say will face bribes in next two years

A survey has found that 30 per cent out of 80 Malaysian companies have experienced bribery and corruption in their daily operations. — Reuters pic
A survey has found that 30 per cent out of 80 Malaysian companies have experienced bribery and corruption in their daily operations. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 ― Bribery and corruption may be unacceptable practices for Malaysian companies, yet there has been a sharp increase in reported incidences for the past two years.

PricewaterhouseCoopers's (PwC) Global Economic Crime Survey 2016 found that 30 per cent out of 80 Malaysian companies have experienced bribery and corruption in their daily operations, compared to just 19 per cent in 2014 even as 98 per cent of those polled made it clear to their staff that bribery and corruption are “unacceptable practices.”

“On paper they don't believe it should be tolerated but on the ground it's very different.

“The fact that almost all the Malaysian respondents feel that their top management are sending a clear message that they don't condone such crimes indicates a disconnect between the tone at the top and the reality on the ground,” Sridharan Nair, managing partner of PwC Malaysia told a news conference today.

PwC's Global Economic Crime Survey was conducted through an online survey of 6,337 respondents in 115 countries. PwC Malaysia's respondents represented 17 industries including government/state-owned enterprises, financial services, energy, utilities and mining and manufacturing.

The survey stated that Malaysia now has the second highest reported level of corruption (30 per cent) relative to its three largest trading partners: China (46 per cent), Japan (24 per cent) and Singapore (17 per cent).

According to the survey's findings for Malaysia, asset misappropriation topped the list for the most prevalent economic crimes, followed by bribery and corruption, and cybercrime.

“Malaysian organisations are not doing enough to protect themselves from the risks of economic crime,” Nair added.

PwC also found that one in three Malaysian respondents believed their companies will experience bribery and corruption in the next two years.

But at the same time 14 per cent of Malaysian companies were unaware of whether or not they had experienced economic crime.

According to PwC Consulting Associate (M) Sdn Bhd's senior executive director Alex Tan, cybersecurity is another important factor which has not been adequately addressed by Malaysian companies.

He said that while 42 per cent of Malaysian companies in the survey see an increased risk of cyber threats, more than half of these companies are still unsure of whether or not they are at risk.

“Only 35 per cent of respondents say that they have a fully operational incident response plan to cybercrime.

“Three in ten have no plan at all, nearly half don't think they need one,” Tan said.

Approximately one-third of the respondents were from publicly listed companies. The survey was conducted from July 16 to September 30 last year.

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