KUALA LUMPUR – Transparency International Malaysia today suggested that polygraph test be introduced in the civil service to detect abuse among its employees.

Its president, Datuk Akhbar Satar (pix) said such a test would not only help to identify corrupt employees, but also provide opportunities to those accused of doing so to clear their names.

He said with 98% effectiveness in detecting lies, the polygraph test could be conducted on high-ranking civil servants and those holding important posts.

“Department heads, enforcement officers and civil servants holding sensitive posts, like those handling funds and contracts, as well as those involve in protecting the country’s security, should also be made to take the test,” he told Bernama here today.

Akhbar, who is also Malaysian Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, said the polygraph test had been used widely by various sectors in more than 80 countries, including Singapore and Thailand.

In Malaysia, he said, the test was only used by enforcement agencies for investigation purpose and by some private companies when conducting an internal inquiry or recruiting new staff.

He said although the public sector in the country involved a huge number of employees, the test could be conducted at random and as spot check on employees with integrity problems.

Meanwhile, Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) president Datuk Azih Muda said the congress would support any move that could enhance credibility and integrity of civil servants.


However, he said, if the polygraph test was to be carried out, it should take into account the society’s perception so that it would not create prejudice against civil servants.

“We do not want a situation where the people have the perception that all civil servants are not honest and have to take the polygraph test,” he added.

An English newspaper today reported that the Public Service Commission (PSC) agreed to reintroduce the polygraph test to address corruption among civil servants.

The newspaper quoted PSC as saying that it was prepared to discuss with government agencies to decide on civil employees who should have the test and its frequency.

The polygraph test is carried out using a special detector which is placed, like on fingers, arm and chest, and connected to a computer.

The subject or person will be questioned by a specialist handling the device, which is capable of detecting any lie or changes in the body.

— Bernama