08 March, 2007

Bribery a way of life in Malaysia ?

Bribery is such a long-standing problem that most Malaysians acknowledge and accept it as part of life.

Lecturer P. Thinavan, 47, suggested that everyone dwelt less on statistics and focused on tackling the problem.

“It is rampant, but corruption only happens if the public partakes in it. After all, it takes two hands to clap.

“Take traffic offences for example. Offenders should follow the rules and pay for their wrongdoings. They are not in a position to bargain, but they offer to settle the matter with the traffic officer,” he said.

Thinavan was commenting on Malaysia Transparency’s Perception Survey 2007 which found that problems of integrity and transparency were “acute and serious.”

Another lecturer from a local university, Sharon Wilson, disagreed with the notion that every government agency was corrupt.

“We can’t stereotype by saying that everyone bribes or receives bribes.

“There might be a lot of cases of people offering bribes to get their driving licence, or situations where people, frustrated by bureaucracy, pay duit kopi.

“For me, it’s a matter of addiction and a bad habit more than an act of desperation,” she added.

Centre for Independent Journalism executive director Sonia Randhawa noted:

“If people have this perception that corruption is serious, it’s possible that they may be practising it as well.”

Asked how corruption may be reduced, she said government policies should not concentrate too much on individual responsibility but tackle the problem on a wider scope.

The survey was conducted from Nov 30 to Jan 12 and polled 1,436 respondents from both public and corporate sectors.

The results were released on Monday.

Related News :
Cops get worst score

Tian Chua held for murder attempt

Parti Keadilan Rakyat information chief Tian Chua was arrested for attempted murder after he nearly hit a man when he drove his car through a barrier during a demonstration.

The incident occurred when Permodalan Negeri Selangor Bhd's workers were demolishing houses at Kampung Berembang here yesterday.

The villager were trying to stop the demolition and Chua as well as several politicians and activists were there to support them....(more)

Snakes on a plane? 2400 to be precise

Workers at a Malaysian airport cargo complex found 2400 snakes of a protected species in crates bound for Hong Kong sent by smugglers in Thailand, news reports said Wednesday.

The banded rat snake - rarely found in Malaysia and protected under local laws and international wildlife treaties - is an expensive delicacy in some Asian countries, the New Straits Times and The Star reported.

Workers handling cargo at the complex near the Bayan Lepas International Airport in Penang grew suspicious when they heard hissing and "slithering sounds," the Times reported, and alerted wildlife officials.

The officials found the snakes, worth an estimated $US68,400 ($A88,500) on the market, tied up in plastic sacks in a total of 86 crates, the Times added.

The fate of the snakes was unclear in the reports. Phone calls to the wildlife department office in Penang went unanswered Wednesday morning.

CIJ - Stop meddling in the media

The Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) is concerned that the Internal Security Ministry is interfering further with editorial independence, despite Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's promises of openness and increased media freedom.

The Ministry, also headed by Abdullah, issued a letter on 15 Feb to reprimand opposition party organ "Harakah". It said its 16-28 February issue goes against conditions specified in the newspaper's publication permit. The Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 requires that all publications have a permit to publish. These are awarded on an annual basis, and decisions to award, amend or suspend publication licenses can not be challenged in court.

Exacerbating this interference in editorial freedom, the warning does not specify how the permit is transgressed nor does it refer to any articles. It also took an issue with the paper's use of Jawi script on one page, stating that Harakah is not allowed to publish in languages
other than in Malay and English. The articles, however, were written in Malay, using the Jawi script.

Read here.



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