'Half of Malaysians consider receiving bribes a normal practise'
KUALA LUMPUR - Half of Malaysians consider receiving bribes is a normal occurrence in the country.
Malaysia Nottingham University Honorary Associate Researcher Dr Bridget Welsh said it was based on the Asian Barometer Survey that showed low-income individuals living in rural areas tend to have such thoughts.
"The government must overcome why this is happening and identify the reason for saying receiving bribes is a normal phenomenon among the people.
"They think that the bribes are helping them. The government must find a good solution to ensure corruption is not something that can be considered financial assistance, such as sponsored donations.
"However, the government can prepare a good welfare system for the people by making sure that corruption is not the only means to help them out of poverty," she said.
She said this to Sinar after the second public lecture titled ‘Corruption as a Political Issue’ at the Tun Mohamed Suffian Auditorium, Universiti Malaya (UM) Law Faculty, on Saturday.
Other panellists were Petaling Jaya MP Lee Chean Chung and Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) senior manager Aira Azhari, while May Leong was the moderator.
Bridget added that the government must understand the cause of corruption for people to see it as a financial solution.
She said the poor, for the sake of survival, accept donations that are handed out to them during an election campaign.
"We must know that we can’t blame anyone who takes money; the blame must be on those who give the money," she said.
Bridget claimed the people in rural areas, for example, in Sabah, consider cash and donations given as a normal practise.
"Bribes are considered part of their income. The government must create more job opportunities for them so that it can help them continue their lives.
"We can’t change their mindset with words, but we must provide an alternative on what is best to change their lives," she said.