Doing Business Ethically

Newsletter: 4th Quarter 2015

Message from CBI Founding Member – Dr Ho Chai Yee

Businesses are particularly prone to corrupt practices. They are a target for bribes and they also resort to bribes to achieve their own ends, for e.g. to secure operating licences or to avoid harassment from the authorities. Thus many business owners see bribery as simply a cost of doing business. It is quick and simple and gets the job done.

Given the rampant corrupt environment in Malaysia, can we do business with integrity? The answer is yes. There are companies and state enterprises that have successfully embarked on doing business ethically.

TI-M through its Business Integrity Programme (BIP) has helped companies set up policies and procedures to safeguard their operations against corruption. Its pilot project was with Thumbprints Sdn Bhd, an established printing company. BIP worked with Thumbprints to design and test the initial Corporate Integrity System (CIS). It used international best practice tools provided by the TI Secretariat in Berlin and support from other chapters particularly TI-UK. More importantly, the managing director of Thumbprints made a firm long term commitment to business integrity. He was determined to run the business free of corruption and was able to overcome the many challenges that the company confronted.

Dr Mark Lovatt, who heads the BIP in TI-M, then worked with the Selangor State Government starting with one of their state-owned companies to introduce an Integrity Pact System (IPS) and later went on to implement a full CIS there. On seeing the impact of the IPS, a much bigger state enterprise, PKNS became interested and subsequently implemented a full CIS with the help of TI-M. Their CIS is now cited as a best practice example by MACC and is being rolled out to the PKNS subsidiaries.

CBI will work closely with TI-M and other related organisations and Government institutions to reverse the increasing corruption trend in the private sector. Our main objective is to grow a body of corporations and professionals who want to do business with integrity and to help them achieve this goal. CBI’s role will also complement the Government’s efforts to curb corruption in the private sector through the proposed Corporate Liability Act which it intends to table in Parliament.

You have the decision-making ability to stand for integrity in your own companies or professions. Hopefully, in time we can build an influential group of businessmen and professionals to bring about national transformation in our business dealings. Let us start making a difference to the world of business by our stand for integrity.

One thought on “Doing Business Ethically

  1. Matthew Ting says:

    Dr Ho, thank you for you effort and perseverance. Keep it up! Matthew.

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