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1.0 Introduction At common law bribery is difficult to define.

It is arguable whether it exists as a general offence or is made up of a number of offences of bribery. Bribery involves offering or accepting something of value in a situation where the person who accepts the bribe is expected to perform a service which goes beyond his or her normal job description. For example, a motorist being ticketed for parking in the wrong place might offer a bribe to the police officer to ask him or her to tear up the ticket.Bribery may include the corruption of a public official as well as commercial bribery, which refers to the corruption of a private individual to gain a commercial or business advantage. The thing of value is not limited to cash or money. Such things as lavish gifts and entertainment, payment of travel and lodging expenses, payment of credit card bills, "loans," promises of future employment, interests in businesses, can be bribes if they were given or received with the intent to influence or be influenced. In many regions of the world, bribery is considered a crime, and it can be severely punished. In other areas, bribery is more socially acceptable, which can place a heavy burden on those in the lower ranks of society, as they cannot afford to bribe officials in the style to which they are accustomed. Any number of things can be used as a bribe. While money is a classic bribe, bribes can also be more intangible, and they might include things like offers of real estate, valuable objects, or a promise to perform a particular service in the future. In order to be considered a bribe, the object of value must be offered and accepted with the understanding that the person who accepts the bribe will be doing something in return. This differentiates bribes from gifts offered in genuine good will, and also distinguishes bribery from tipping, a practice in which gifts are offered in return for good service. Bribery can be on a very thin line, and cultural differences can sometimes lead to confusion. In some cultures, for example, offering a tip may be considered a bribe, while in others, a failure to tip would be construed as offensive. The complex Middle Eastern tradition of baksheesh is an example of a confusing situation; baksheesh is not viewed as bribery in the Middle East, and in fact a well-established system of bribery exists in some

Middle Eastern countries, and it is entirely differentiated from baksheesh by local citizens. Depending on regional laws, bribery can be prosecuted and punished with fines, jail time, or compensation. Especially in countries which are based on egalitarian ideals, bribery is often viewed as especially offensive, since it erases the illusion that all members of society are equal when someone can essentially buy the favors or skills of someone else with the right bribe. 2.0 Economic analysis on the act of bribery The economic analysis of bribery falls into two broad categories. First, economics can help isolate the underlying factors that produce corrupt incentives, independent of the strength of bribery laws. Empirical work builds on this theory to produce estimates of the social costs of corruption and its impact under a range of conditions. The first section of this review summarizes work in this tradition, both theoretical and empirical. Second, economic principles can help one assess the laws and policies against bribery to see whether they deter payoffs effectively. Private actors frequently make payments to public officials to obtain a benefit or to avoid harm. If these payments are pocketed by the recipient or used for partisan political purposes, most legal systems classify some such payments as bribes and can impose criminal penalties on those who pay and receive them. A few systems, however, treat payers and recipients differently depending on the nature of the benefit. National legal systems differ as to whether business firms or other organizations, as opposed to individuals, can be guilty of bribery. They also differ in their treatment of payoffs that only involve private actors, such as a payment from a salesman to a purchasing agent. In some legal systems, business firms cannot be guilty of a crime but can be subject to fines, and, in others, commercial bribery is a civil, not a criminal offense. Principal-agent relationships are at the heart of any corrupt transaction. An employee or another person acting as an agent for a government body or a private organization accepts a private benefit in return for acting in the payee's interest. The bribe taker may be able to solicit

bribes simply by dint of his or her position of authority or may enhance that authority with threats. The enormous growth in international trade and investment over the past fifty years has been accompanied by an increase in bribery. The newspapers regularly report bribery scandals in the conduct of international business. The World Bank estimated that five per cent of the exports to developing countries go to corrupt officials. It is estimated that more than US$1 trillion is paid in bribes each year. The chairman of the U.S. branch of Transparency International, the non-governmental organization dedicated to combating corruption, has noted that many analysts feel "there has been a gradual escalation. At one point, five per cent (of a contract price) was standard. That's crept up gradually until now it's in the twenty to thirty per cent range". If bribery is a burden to international firms, it is even more costly to the countries where they are prevalent. It has been estimated that money lost to bribery is the largest potential source of funding available to many new democratic governments aside from foreign direct investment. The World Bank believes that tackling bribery can lead to significant increases in national income and faster economic growth and to improvements in quality of life issues such as child mortality rates. The seriousness of the issue has prompted governments, intergovernmental bodies, non-governmental organizations, and commercial firms to control and discourage bribe giving and bribe taking. The U.S. was the first industrialized country to address this issue when, in 1977, it enacted the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) making it a crime for any American firm (and foreign firms which issue negotiable securities on U.S. stock exchanges) to offer, promise, or make payments or gifts of anything of value to foreign officials, politicians, and political parties with the intention of changing policies or to secure the suspension of a legal norm (U. S. Department of Justice). In 1999, the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions signed by the 30 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and six other nations came into effect.

The main goals of the treaty are to prevent bribery in international business transactions by requiring countries to make it a criminal offence to bribe a foreign public official, to have in place adequate sanctions and reliable means for detecting and enforcing the offence, and prohibit bribes from being considered a business expense and thus tax deductible. Financial agencies such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and International Monetary Fund have linked aid disbursements to improvements in administrative practices to eliminate corruption. The World Bank has barred firms which engage in bribery from doing business with it. It has established a program to let firms that have worked on bank-funded projects to voluntarily disclose and has found that a number of companies admitted to paying bribes. The World Bank has created aggregate governance research indicators for 213 countries around six dimensions, one of which is control of corruption. These annual figures provide both a snapshot and a trend line of the quality of governance in individual countries and on a comparative basis. Non-governmental organizations such as Transparency International, through their annual rankings of perceived corruption among countries, spotlight this subject. Many businesses and industry groups have become conscious of their ethical conduct and the need to comply with the emerging web of laws. Consequently, they have created codes of conduct for their employees. Private trade associations such as the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD and the International Chamber of Commerce have developed anti-bribery programs. Thus, there have been worldwide efforts to address both the demand for and supply of bribes. The bribery and economic growth impact each other both unidirectional and simultaneously. However, the impact of lower levels of bribery on economic growth is stronger than the impact of higher economic growth rate on reducing bribery. It was also found that there may not exist any relationship among these two variables in some countries. These varied findings suggest that unique country specific factors explain the prevalence of bribery and pace of economic growth; universal explanations need to be hedged. The findings suggest that concerted efforts to reduce bribery must remain a desirable policy for national governments, international agencies, and non-governmental organizations. Reducing the prevalence of bribery would contribute to a higher rate of

economic growth and that in turn could further accelerate the decline in bribe taking a virtuous cycle that can contribute to the economic well-being of more of the world's people. Concurrently, policies that enhance economic growth need to be put in place and implemented to arrest bribery. 3.0 Legal analysis on the act of bribery The antithesis to corruption is good governance. The term governance alone refers to the way government carries out its work through decision-making and implementation. Good governance accomplishes the functions of governance without abuse and corruption, and with regard for the rule of law. When there is not evidence of good governance through such qualities as accountability, responsiveness, transparency, and efficiency, when policies are not effectively implemented, and public services are ineffective or unavailable, there is corruption. Put simply, one could conclude that corruption occurs where good governance is lacking. International corruption remains a major threat to the integrity and health of the legal profession in several parts of the world. One of the biggest obstacles to confronting this issue is the low level of awareness of the international anti-corruption regulatory framework that exists to address these risks. This framework includes international anticorruption instruments and associated national legislation with extraterritorial application. The extraterritorial application of national legislation dealing with international corruption is an important element of the global anticorruption regulatory framework that concerns lawyers involved in international transactions. Some domestic laws extend their anti-corruption jurisdiction beyond national boundaries. This gives rise to extraterritorial or long arm jurisdiction, the ramifications of which have been wide-ranging and included legal practitioners. A powerful and developed international regulatory framework to combat corruption in all its forms is now in place. It includes international legal instruments and national anti-corruption legislation that applies to corruption cases both at home and abroad.

Unfortunately, many lawyers remain unaware of the implications of this international anti-corruption regulatory framework on both their legal practice and on the legal profession. As a consequence, lawyers may be at risk of violating this framework by, for example, their involvement as intermediaries in corrupt transactions that would leave them exposed to possible criminal liability. Due to the growth in international transactions, clients increasingly rely on local counsel for advice on foreign legislation and for representation in international business transactions. As a result, legal professionals may be exposed to instances of corruption outside their own jurisdiction. If a jurisdiction is associated with bribery and corruption, it runs the risk of discouraging important foreign investment. 4.0 Ethical analysis on the act of bribery Where giving bribes is a common practice in procuring contracts, a company that does not offer bribes will clearly be at a disadvantage, at least in the short term. It is likely to lose out to less scrupulous competitors in the battle for contracts. Suppose that such a company enunciates its policy clearly and publicly calls attention to the corrupt practices of its competitors. While this would probably be counterproductive in the short run, the result may be to build up good will among the forces in the country that are fighting against corruption, Should those forces prevail, then the honest company is likely to be rewarded. In the worst case, it may be necessary to recognize that there are times when one must choose between immediate self-interest and ethical behavior. Where corruption is so rampant that it is not possible to do business in an honest manner, and then perhaps the most appropriate response is simply to refrain from doing business in that country. If this policy were widely adopted, then strong pressure for reform would be a likely outcome. The situation of employers employed by companies doing business in countries where bribery is rampant can be very difficult. If their employers are among those engaged in corrupt practices, they may be faced with agonizing dilemmas. Participating in acts of bribery may be abhorrent to them on moral grounds and may expose them to risks of legal prosecution and/or censure by their professional societies. Refusing to

participate may jeopardize their careers within their companies. This is a situation where support from their employers societies could be of great value. This position is based on the assumption that ethics is relative to location, and that it would be arrogant to rank the customs of one area of the world over those of another. In effect, it equates ethics with etiquette, or perhaps fashion. But, can the same act violate basic ethical principles in one place and be consonant with them somewhere else? Such values as respect for human life and welfare, fair play, truth, and openness, which are the basis for ethics in general and for employers ethics in particular, are of fundamental importance because they are critical to human society. To the extent that they are violated, cooperation among people becomes increasingly difficult, and human life itself becomes burdensome. This is true universally. It is not a matter of cultural bias, and people throughout the world tend to agree about the basics of ethics. When doing ethical analysis, there are four models that serve as a framework to structure an argument: utilitarianism in terms of actions, utilitarianism in terms of rules, rights and duties, and virtue. Utilitarianism is the process of weighing benefits and harms, and choosing the option that offers the most benefits for the greatest number of people. Rule-utilitarian thought focuses on benefits and harms created by rules, while actutilitarian thought calculates the consequences of actions themselves. The rights & duties model chooses the course that respects what others are entitled to (rights) and obligations a stakeholders has to fulfill them (duties). The last model, virtue, chooses the option that enforces good habits of character for yourself and others. Each model can be applied when evaluating whether bribery is ethical or not. In terms of benefits and harms to the economy, the benefits of bribing credit-rating agencies would have a significant impact. Government would be able to get a handle on its interest payments and pay off debt quicker, without the financial support of other countries. Such benefits would likely reduce unemployment and drastically increase the quality of life for Irish citizens. For this argument, harms are minimalthere is no harm that comes to the credit-rating agencies if no one finds out of such bribery. If discovered, the reputation of the agency may be diminished, but that certainly does not outweigh the benefits associated with helping the citizens.

Another argument in favor of bribery has to do with duties. The government has an obligation to do what it takes to ensure the health and happiness of its citizens. While country enjoyed prosperity for a short time in the early 2000s, the government may have made poor choices that led to current financial position. One blogger claims the reason for the crisis stems from governments decision to guarantee all bank liabilities, a promise that a country could not keep. Doesnt the government then, have a duty to citizens to use whatever means are available to restore the economy to a normal state? If the government has the power to bribe credit-rating agencies to help stimulate the economy, it should fulfill its promise of serving in the best interests of citizens. While there are ethical arguments in favor of bribery, there are also arguments not in favor. Although the action of the bribery may bring more benefits than harms to the people of the country in this particular situation, the rule that forbids bribery brings more benefits than harms in all situations. There are countless historical examples of individuals using bribery as a means to gain power or money that is used for evil; in fact, there are more examples of bribery used for immorality rather than for good. Because of the benefits that arise from outlawing bribery, it would be unethical for the government to use such tactics, even if it greatly benefited its citizens. Although the blogger notes that credit-rating agencies are already involved with bribery, it would not be ethical to allow it in this case because it undermines the functional purpose of a credit-rating system. These agencies are created so that investors have a resource to be able to assess the risk with investing in bond markets. By using bribes to enhance credit scores, these scores become biased and are no longer a useful tool for potential investors. There is no way to ethically justify bribery in a credit-rating system because it goes against the very purpose of why such a system exists in an economy. The most powerful argument against bribery is related to the virtue model. Bribery is a form of corruption that alters a behavior or outcome based on a reward. Rather than encouraging good habits of character, such as hard work and judiciousness, the action teaches individuals to cheat in order to get ahead. By using such a tactic to pay

off debt, the government is justifying to citizens that the ends justify the means. Such examples will likely lead to corrupt behavior within the country economy, because the government did not fulfill its duty of being a moral representation of the country it administers. If the government engages in bribery, business owners, politicians, lobbyists, and other stakeholders are going to do the same act. 5.0 Conclusion When it comes to the level of corruption in Malaysia, we found that there is a disconnect between public perception and what the data says. Public perception as measured by the CPI implies that corruption is rampant and the situation is very bad. But data suggests that the problem of corruption in Malaysia is not as bleak as the CPI score has painted. Thus when discussing corruption in Malaysia, it is necessary to do so with a pinch of salt and not be completely influenced by perception alone. Nevertheless, we are not arguing that there is no corruption in Malaysia. Perception does not arise out of thin air. All that we are saying is that there is a need to be cautious and not throw blanket accusations denying the many good efforts initiated by the government. We have seen many initiatives taken by the government, and many more recommendations on how to tackle corruption in Malaysia. But despite these numerous proposals and initiatives, we are still faced with the same problems. This certainly calls for a pause to take stock of all the initiatives, and conduct a comprehensive evaluation before moving ahead. At the present moment we do not see a cohesive approach where all actors from the public sector, private sector and civil society, sit around one table, with one clear objective of eradicating corruption, to strategise initiatives that will not just maximise resources but also magnify the impact.

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