Fighting Corruption in Malaysia SPA 501 Bank, 1997a: 12). A unifying and somewhat concise definition is perhaps given by United Nation Development Programme, UNDP; “the misuse of public power, office or authority, for private benefit through bribery, extortion, influence peddling, nepotism, fraud, speed money or
embezzlement (UNDP 1999:7). This paper would focus on the level of corruption in Malaysia, using the definition by UNDP as a basic guideline. As it is very difficult, if not impossible, to measure actual corruption accurately (Quah,1999), several indicators would be used to gauge the level of corruption in the country. This paper would make use of reported cases and tried cases as published by the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission), as well as the index and ranking of Malaysia based on the CPI (Corruption Perception Index) and GCB (Global Corruption Barometer) published by Transparency
International. These data would be representative of the trend of corruption level in Malaysia, by comparing data from the domestic as well as the international agencies. The first part of the paper, which focuses on the perceived corruption level in Malaysia, would also study the nature of corruption. As noted by Caiden (1981), corruption in a nation falls under two categories; whether corruption is a fact of life, or a way of life. The difference of the two would determine how rampant corruption is in the country. The type of corruption, whether grand of petty, would also be discussed, as they contribute to the total corruption perception of the country. Grand corruption refers to corrupt practices by political masters and senior civil servants, usually resulting in large international bribes and
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Fighting Corruption in Malaysia SPA 501 hidden overseas, offshore accounts. Petty corruption is practiced by junior civil servants who demand bribes to perform favours (Pope, 2000). The second part of the paper would focus on the initiatives taken by the government to combat corruption. Leslie Palmier (1985) had outlined three important root causes of corruption in public offices, which are opportunities, salaries and policing. The initiatives and strategy taken by the government would be studied according to these root causes, while the measure of...