Small – Medium Enterprises (SMEs) plays an integral and substantial part in the economic development of Malaysia by occupying 97.3% of total business establishments. SMEs are undoubtedly important engines of growth for the Malaysian economy, contributing to 36.3% of the GDP and 65.5% of total employment as of 2015 according to the official figures provided by SME Corporation Malaysia. However because SMEs operate in an intensively competitive environment, this breeds the right conditions for the emergence of unethical practices to procure business.
Often, much of the efforts of fighting corruption and bribery are focused on large companies as compared to SMEs due to the nature of business, resources, internal control and compliance requirement. The chain-effects of anti-corruption and anti-bribery policies imposed by large companies over SMEs are generally weak, causing a gap in the overall effort to encourage business integrity agenda of the country. A SME survey by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) in 2013 had shed light on how bribery and corruption affected SMEs and argues that smaller businesses need to be encouraged and supported in their efforts to combat these threats.
The report further showed that 78% of respondents from Malaysia (highest percentage of all the countries analysed) said they do not think there is sufficient guidance to help SMEs in identifying and dealing with bribery and corruption. In view of this, TI-M with the support from ASEAN CSR Network Small Grants Fund through the support from the Government of Sweden, has published a new practical guide dedicated to SMEs to promote corrupt-free business environment.
The newly published handbook aims to educate employees to identify the common types of corruption and bribery at their workplace as well as the negative impacts of these unethical practices towards individual and businesses. It has more illustrations in it, making it easily comprehensible. The handbook is available in three languages; Malay, English and Mandarin and can be accessed through TI-M’s website http://transparency.org.my/what-we-do/business-integrity-programme/speak-up-against-corruption-employees-handbook-for-smes/ for free. It connects further with our toll-free anonymous speak-up hotline: 1800 220 122. Individuals who are affected by corruption can now call us and they will be assisted and guided further with an exchange of useful tips to handle the incident and prevent future occurrence. The hotline is available from nine in the morning till four in the afternoon.
The cases collected via our Speak Up hotline will be compiled and published as generic case studies for educational purposes. We encourage you to call-in and share your story with us. This would help us find possible solutions in the long run. TI-M will work closely with SME Corporation Malaysia and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to provide useful support to SMEs. Like-minded individual and organisations are welcomed to contact TI-M for any possible collaboration.
ACT NOW & CALL 1800 220 122!