B40 Corruption: Ameliorate Some Drivers of Corruption via Basic Income Strategies

By:

john ku

Affiliations:

-

Policy Code:

3d Anti corruption

Problem Statement:

Real Income and Purchasing Power Parity [PPP] in Malaysia have significantly deteriorated in particular for B40 households.
Cost of living in Malaysia is high, especially in urban areas, for the B40 group (which includes many lower paid government servants). A key driver of B40 corruption is to meet income gaps. In a recent study1, 97% of B40 and low end M40 households earning less than RM5197.00 per month overspent their income each month. Such conditions feed the temptation for corruption. In order to reduce income gap corruption, salaries for B40 groups should be raised as part of comprehensive wage and administrative reforms covering both private and public sectors.

Value(s) and Belief(s):

A guaranteed acceptable income is a necessary although not infallible condition for encouraging moral integrity and resistance to corruption. Additionally, the large household income inequality exacerbates social instability. In 2019, B40 households [i.e., 40% of all Malaysian households] only had access to 16% of gross household income share2.

Proposal of Solution:

Providing an income safety net for B40 households addresses a fundamental driver of corruption. While implementing such a system necessitates wide structural reform and political will, ensuring that all Malaysian citizens residing in the country have access to certain fundamental goods, including access to education, universal health care, and Basic Income in the form of social security or benefits will also bring about societal well-being and help create a peaceful, harmonious Malaysia with shared prosperity.
As in Norway, Basic Income provision by the government should be needs-based and tied to specific conditions to be met, such as requiring citizens to try and find a job, be law-abiding, participating in elections, and paying taxes.
The state can raise funds for the Basic Income plan via charging for goods and services which have so far been provided free, and via GST, which aids in democratising taxes, since it is based on consumption. [Note: GST system should include GST credits for B40 households]

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