By Ida Lim
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 – Malaysia tops the list in a Transparency International (TI) survey of 30 countries where companies felt they had lost deals because they did not pay bribes.
The Bribery Payers Survey was carried out locally by pollsters Gallup among 101 companies that deal with the private and public sector.
“Fifty per cent say ‘yes’, which is very high,” Datuk Paul Low, the president of TI’s Malaysian chapter, said at a press conference today.
“I think this should be a cause of concern for us,” he said, adding that it suggests corruption is deeply entrenched in the country’s system and institutions.
The question asked was: “During the last 12 months, do you think that your company has failed to win a contract or gain new business because a competitor has paid a bribe?”
Malaysia has the highest score at 50 per cent, followed by Mexico and Indonesia at 48 and 47 per cent respectively.
Japan had the lowest number of companies that believed they had lost business due to bribery at two per cent, while Singapore and South Korea scored nine and 11 per cent respectively.
In the same survey, Malaysia received a rating of 4.1 when the respondents were asked for their opinion on how common it is for public officials to demand or accept bribes.
Malaysia also scored a rating of 4.3 when those polled were asked: “How common is the misuse of public funds by high-ranking public officials and politicians?”
For these two questions, the rating is on a scale of one to five, with one indicating ‘never’ and five indicating ‘very common’.
When asked to rate the Putrajaya’s effectiveness in the fight against corruption in the private sector, 75 per cent felt the government was ineffective, while six per cent said it was effective.
According to Low, TI had chose the 30 countries because of the high level of international trade and investment in their countries.