This picture taken on September 9, 2008 shows the prime minister's office (R) and Putra mosque (L) in Putrajaya, 25 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur. On a hillside overlooking the grandiose administrative capital that Malaysia has built at vast expense, vacant lots marked with the names of dozens of countries lie empty. It's a diplomatic enclave without diplomats, embassies or limousines -- and one of the most visible failures of Putrajaya, a multi-billion-dollar extravaganza of monumental avenues, lakes and dome-topped buildings. AFP PHOTO/KAMARUL AKHIR

KUALA LUMPUR – Citizens in Malaysia and Vietnam have the worst view of their governments fight to end corruption out of their peers in South-east Asia, according to the latest study by Transparency International (TI).

According to the international watchdog’s 2017 regional report on the Global Corruption Barometer 62 per cent of Malaysians feel the government is “doing badly” in combating corruption, despite the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) redoubled efforts.

“At the other end of the scale, Malaysia and Vietnam performed the worst with not a single positive rating, according to their own citizens,” said the report released yesterday.

“In these countries, the governments were rated poorly in their efforts to fight corruption, people saw widespread corruption among the police, and many people thought that corruption was on the rise.”

TI said its survey is indicative of the “real and serious corruption challenges” in the region that urgently need to be resolved.

The survey also found more than half or 59 per cent of Malaysians sensing corruption in the country has increased over the past year.

Among public officials, 41 per cent of Malaysians said they see lawmakers and officials from the Prime Minister’s Office as corrupt, but this paled in comparison to the 45 per cent for government officials, 48 per cent for local councillors, and 48 per cent for tax collectors.

Worryingly, 57 per cent believe that most police are corrupt. About a third or 33 per cent believe judges are involved in corruption, and 31 per cent viewed religious leaders as corrupt.

Among those polled, 13 per cent has admitted that they have paid bribe to the police in the past year.

However, only 23 per cent respondents said they have paid bribe to any for the six public services mentioned: public schools, hospitals, identification documents, utilities services, police, and courts.

This comes as the report revealed that the police top the list of public services most often demanding a bribe in the region, with under a third of those who came into contact with the police officer in the last year paying the bribe.

The survey was conducted by market research firm Efficience3 through face-to-face interviews with 1,009 people across the demographics between November 21, 2016 and January 31, 2017.

In January, the MACC said it has detained 932 individuals for their alleged involvement in corruption last year, making it their best haul ever.

Its deputy chief commissioner in charge of prevention, Datuk Shamsun Baharin Mohd Jamil said 982 investigation papers were opened and 258 individuals were charged in 2016, compared to 509 people arrested in 2013, while 552 and 841 individuals were nabbed in 2014 and 2015.

– Malay Mail