Fear stops civil servants from reporting corrupt practices, says Cuepacs

Low-ranking civil servants are especially weary they would face barriers to promotion, threats to their personal safety


SELF-PRESERVATION is the main reason for a majority of civil servants to sweep many corrupt practices at their workplace under the carpet.

Congress of Union of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) president Adnan Mat (picture) said low-ranking civil servants especially are weary they would face barriers to promotion, threats to their personal safety and disruption in work schedule if they come forward with certain reports of corruption at government departments and agencies.

He said most of them choose not to report the corrupt activities to their superiors, let alone to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), as they fear their careers will be jeopardised.

“The main concern to all parties including employees of the public service is their state of security and wellbeing when they report a case of corruption and abuse of power.

“Most of the time, they are not confident with the assurance given by the MACC and the department themselves that their safety, as well as their identity, will not be revealed.

“If their identity is revealed, these complainants are worried of being marginalised, threatened and ignored in their department because it is considered as tarnishing the good name of the department,” Adnan said at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

He said such incidents have happened among many civil servants who had refused to report corruption offences due to difficulties they will face in the future.

He added that most civil servants are also worried that the reports or complaints made will not be taken seriously by the authorities and eventually, the complainants themselves will be the victims if no action is taken based on the reports.

Prior to this, Adnan said the government and MACC gave rewards to employees that provide information on corrupt activities.

However, he said these days, rewards are not a main motivation for civil servants to report any case of corruption, misconduct or malpractice.

A recent statement by the MACC revealed that only 0.01% of 1.6 million civil servants nationwide have come forward to report corruption in their respective departments and agencies.

MACC deputy chief commissioner (prevention) Datuk Seri Shamshun Baharin Mohd Jamil said the figure is still low, considering the zero-corruption effort that was implemented in the civil service.

He added that although incentives were provided to civil servants to report corruption cases, the commission’s data showed only 343 civil servants came forward to provide information between 2012 and 2019.

According to Adnan, corruption among civil servants is low and isolated because it only involves 0.15% of the total of 1.6 million.

“Truthfully, the number of civil servants who do not accept bribes is actually more than those who take bribes. We do have a lot of civil servants who are good and have more integrity than those who are not,” he said.

Adnan said civil servants should not be afraid to report corruption and misconduct, as the activity affects the overall integrity of the civil servants’ group.

“Various ways can be done to report corruption offences including reporting to the Enforcement Integrity Commission which will investigate each report transparently.

“Therefore, each department head or authorities should take every report received seriously, and at the same time equally ensure the safety of the complainant is protected and guaranteed,” he said.