Corruption risk management in land administration in Malaysia

  • Sakduddin Zamli

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Corruption in land management strikes when local officials demand bribes for rudimentary administrative steps or a clerk who asks for a bribe to register a small plot. At the higher level, an official who takes kickbacks for authorising development but also when high-level political decisions are unduly prejudiced, leaving the public at large to pay for this illegitimate decision.
Despite extensive efforts, corruption in the land sector in Malaysia has reached epidemic proportions and has become one of the major challenges to government. Therefore, Corruption Risk Management (CRM) has been introduced as an internal control on corruption in public service to remedy the problem. CRM is a management process that helps to identify structural weaknesses that may facilitate corruption, provides a framework for all staff to take part in identifying risk factors and treatments, and embeds corruption prevention within a well-established governance framework (ACE, 2016). To date, no study has shown how effective this management tool to comprehend the corruption problem in land administration in Malaysia. Hence, this research aimed to investigate the effectiveness of CRM as an internal monitoring system in supporting anti-corruption in land administration. In order to achieve this goal, eleven District and Land Offices in Pahang State we chosen as case study area and a mixed model approached was implemented.
The study consisted of two phases. In the first phase, a questionnaire survey was used to explore the nature, form, vulnerability and existing control mechanisms of corruptions in land administration. A total of 114 responses were recruited, and descriptive and statistical analyses were used to analyse the data. This then influenced the development of a semi structured interview questionnaire for the second phase of study, which explored further the survey responses and addressed the factors that contribute to the effectiveness of CRM in land administration. In this phase, 22 respondents were interviewed, among who are land administration experts, land administration policy makers, land administration trainers, top management in land management, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission officials, as well as CRM Practitioners. Findings from these two phases were then used as a basis to revise the current CRM.
The research developed: an understanding of the issues of corruption that has impacted upon the ability of land administration agencies towards corruption, type of corruption, factors causing corruption, resistance of the department towards corruption to contribute to corruption risk management as well as the mechanism review on current approaches which deter corruption in the land management; and finally, a corruption risk in land management model which illustrates a ‘to be’ situation for how corruption risk management could support land management processes and strategies over corruption risk.
Based on the analysis, types of corruption and identification of the risk factors have been identified. The study also identifies the factors that contribute to the effectiveness of corruption risk management in governing land management. The outcomes of the study will be used to inform the policy and practice of the organization in implementing the Corruption Risk Management framework as an institutional integrity internal control.
Date of AwardSept 2018
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorMark Button (Supervisor) & Dean Blackbourn (Supervisor)

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