Economic crime in Malaysia has risen over the last two years, consistent with the global trend, according to PwC’s Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2018.
Of the respondents, 41 percent experienced such crime compared with 28 percent in 2016, PwC said in a statement, adding that organisations were still not taking sufficient measures to protect themselves against fraud.
Business misconduct takes the top spot in the poll (45 percent of the respondents), overtaking asset misappropriation (41 percent) and bribery and corruption (35 percent) as the most pervasive economic crime in Malaysia.
“Organisations are feeling the pressure to weed out fraud at the highest levels, especially with declining public tolerance for bribery and corruption.
"We believe they can start by tackling the root of the problem: organisational culture,” said PwC Malaysia Managing Partner Sridharan Nair.
In the statement, PwC said following the 14th general election in May, the focus on addressing bribery and corruption was expected to increase under the new government.
The Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2018 was completed by 7,228 respondents from 123 territories. including 124 respondents from Malaysia. The poll was conducted from June 21 to Sept 28, 2017.
The Malaysian respondents represented 19 industries. More than half of them were from publicly listed companies.
Sridharan said it was also encouraging that 75 percent of the respondents had a formal business ethics and compliance programme in place, highlighting that a change from within should be an active ingredient in the remedy against fraud and economic crime.
“(However,) for such measures to be effective, C-suite executives themselves should encourage employees to speak up and report dishonest behaviours without fear,” he opined.