A PAS central committee member has defended his party president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang for his claims that non-Muslims are the major cause of corruption.
Taking it to Facebook, Mohd Zuhdi Marzuki cited a study by a local university that found 88% of 449 people convicted of giving bribes were non-Malays.
However, he did not name the study and claimed the finding was a “PhD-level research” that was published in “a reputable international journal at a leading US university”.
“According to the study, 57.46% of the bribery cases found guilty were from the Chinese, 30.51% from the Indians, and 12.03% from the Malays,” he said.
“Among the factors that led bribe-givers to resort to bribery were to escape punishment whether in the form of fine or jail.”
“Another factor that drives people to resort to bribing was the desire to become the priority choice of government agencies about procurement, tenders, and the like. The total cases of bribery convictions during that period were 449.”
With this, Zuhdi defended Hadi and said his claims were in line with the study. He also accused Pakatan Harapan (PH), especially DAP, of using Hadi’s statement to “toy with racial sentiments to gain political advantage”.
However, he also said that Malays were the majority when it came to receiving bribes.
“I have to admit, the plague of corruption involves all races whether they are Malays, Chinese, or Indians. Based on the findings of the study, the majority who were bribery recipients were Malays, while the majority who gave bribes were non-Malays,” he added.
Cherry-picking from the study
Despite not naming the study, it was later found that the results Zuhdi shared were found in “The Size and Costs of Bribes in Malaysia: An Analysis Based on Convicted Bribe Givers” paper written by lecturers Dr Christine Siew-Pyng Chong and Prof Dr Suresh Narayanan and published in the Asian Economic Papers journal in 2017.
However, the authors of the paper noted that the study had several limitations and could not be generalised as the data used was based on publicly listed information from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)’s website.
In addition, the authors also highlighted that the data set excludes several groups, namely those who did not engage in bribery, those who did not get caught, and those who did and were caught but could not be convicted.
“These omissions are likely to bias our estimates. Unfortunately, there is no ready means to correct this selection bias,” they added.
On the other hand, the authors noted that even though Malays only made up a smaller proportion of bribe-givers in the study, they have a higher probability of offering larger bribes.
This is because most instances of bribe-giving took place among Government employee dealings, most of whom are Malays.
Also, the authors found that the bribes given to them are generally lower than those offered to private sector employees.
“State and federal public sector employees received about 71% and 64% lower bribes, respectively, when compared with bribes paid to private sector employees who accounted for just 9% of bribe recipients,” they said.
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