Varsity students think bribery ‘is for survival’
KUALA LUMPUR: The fear of being outcasts has led some university students to believe that they should accept or offer bribes were they in positions of power.
Universiti Sains Malaysia Associate Professor Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said these students knew that bribery was against their integrity, but they were willing to do it because their surroundings encouraged them to do so.
“Some students believe it’s necessary to bribe to survive in the modern world, which is becoming more challenging. They feel it’s okay, even though they know bribing is wrong,” he said.
Sivamurugan said this in response to the study conducted by the Malaysian AntiCorruption Commission, which revealed that 16 per cent of 1,000 university students admitted willingness to accept or offer bribes if they had the opportunity or power.
Sivamurugan said the statistics were alarming as it involved students who were expected to be educated.
“The education on integrity should be implemented in school. Parents should also play a bigger role to instil good values into their children,” he said.
University student Hasni Tapa, 30, said the culture of flaunting status and wealth was one reason students were willing to bribe.
“In our culture, we tend to respect those in a high position and possess wealth. Bribery is a shortcut to getting status and wealth, which changes their lifestyle for the better.
“In some organisations, it’s the norm to accept and offer a bribe, to the extent that if you don’t, you’re an outcast,” said Hasni, who took his Master’s in Forensic and Financial Criminology at Universiti Teknologi Mara.
Syarol Azuan, 33, a Master of Business Administration student at Universiti Malaya, said universities should have a syllabus that included integrity.
“While educational institutions organise awareness events, such sporadic programmes fail to change students’ mentality.
“Students must be consistently reminded that accepting or offering a bribe is a serious offence,” he said.
Another university student, Norhasdina Hasbullah, 25, said some of the students’mindsets was shaped by what they saw and heard in their surroundings.
“They think bribing is necessary to be successful.
“They believe that bribery is the answer to a lot of problems and they have seen or heard a lot of people do it. They think it’s the norm,” said the Bachelor of Business Administration student from Universiti Kuala Lumpur.
Professor Dr Sivamurugan Pandian