MACC plans follow-up to alarming 2016 survey on undergraduates and corruption

AVILA GERALDINE

KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will conduct another survey to evaluate the risk of corruption among undergraduates and compare the results to last year’s study’s findings.

MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad said the 2016 survey on the perception of the effectiveness of anti-graft measures is cause for concern, and there is a need to conduct a follow-up survey.

“This year, we will do (another) study and present the findings once completed. We are concerned about this matter and the Commission will continue to place heavy emphasis on corruption (eradication) among university students.

“This will be a long-term effort, because when I look at these students, I don’t see them as undergraduates, but future leaders who are clean of corruption. This is in line with the government’s aspiration for 2050,” he added.

Dzulkifli made his comments while visiting the state to deliver talks on corruption and power abuse to Universiti Malaysia Sabah students at the varsity’s lecture hall here.

Speaking to 500 undergraduates, he revealed that 16 per cent of 1,000 undergraduates who took part in MACC’s 2016 survey would be willing to accept a bribe if they were in a position of power.

Up to 18.5 per cent, meanwhile, would be willing to offer inducement, he added.

“Is this true?” Dzulkifli asked the audience, to which he received a resounding “no!”

“I hope this survey is incorrect. I hope the undergraduates before me have high integrity and I urge young people to be on board with the MACC to fight corruption,” he said.

Dzulkifli said furthermore, the MACC will initiate the Sahabat Gerakan programme in primary and secondary schools to expose the younger generation to corruption issues.

“The Commission wants to build a new generation of Malaysians who are concerned about (graft). This is MACC’s continuous effort,” he added.

On a related matter, Dzulkifli told reporters that the Commission will conduct a second operation to identify maritime enforcement personnel or members of the enforcement community who are involved in corruption.

This follows last week’s arrests of 22 individuals here for alleged graft involving the encroachment of Malaysian waters by foreign fishermen.

MACC officers arrested seven Vietnamese, including a Vietnamese woman with a Datuk title; six civil servants; and nine locals from Labuan, Sabah, Sarawak, Pahang and Terengganu.

The civil servants comprise five Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) personnel and a Department of Fisheries officer. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd