Var­sity stu­dents think bribery ‘is for sur­vival’

New Straits Times - - News/Crime & courts -

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

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