what is corruption in education?

A note from whistleblowing students, parents, and teachers:

"It is time to face reality. Our generation must be more prepared and more courageous than the last."

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by Ludovico Einaudi


  1. Why do many MOE misconduct cases fall silent or alleged perpetrators are transferred?
  2. Why haven't decades of media exposures, whistleblower reports, and international condemnation legislated reform (by any party) at the MOE?
  3. How is justice possible for the potentially thousands of victims?

After decades of misconduct, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has nearly only been held accountable by:

  1. the criminal and civil Courts
  2. the ruling Federal Government

"Seriously, decades?" Scroll right for the #FactCheck.








Ministers of Education

Minister of Education

Abdullah Badawi

1984 → 1986

Minister of Education

Anwar Ibrahim

1986 → 1991

Minister of Education

Sulaiman Daud

1991 → 1995

Minister of Education

Najib Razak

1995 → 1999

Minister of Education

Musa Mohamad

1999 → 2004

Minister of Education

Hishammuddin Hussein

2004 → 2009

Minister of Education

Muhyiddin Yassin

2009 → 2015

Minister of Education

Mahdzir Khalid

2015 → 2018

Minister of Education

Maszlee Malik

2018 → 2020

Minister of Education

Mahathir Mohamad

2020 → 2020


Minister of Education

Radzi Jidin

2020 → present

what they do not tell you.

The legal definition of corruption is not bribes, but directly gratification. What is gratification? On page 16 of the MACC Act 2009 (694) ⤤,

"gratification" means—


(f) any other service or favour of any description, including protection from any penalty or disability incurred or apprehended or from any action or proceedings of a disciplinary, civil, or criminal nature, whether or not already instituted, and including the exercise or the forbearance from the exercise of any right or any official power or duty; and

gratification is corruption.


16. Offence of accepting gratification

17. Offence of giving or accepting
gratification by agent

19. Acceptor or giver of 
gratification to be guilty notwithstanding that purpose was not carried out or matter not in relation to principal’s affairs or business

23. Offence of using office or position for

Abuse of power for protection is GRATIFICATION IS CORRUPTION.

23. Offence of using office or position for gratification

(1) Any officer of a public body who uses his office or position for any gratification, whether for himself, his relative or associate, commits an offence.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), an officer of a public body shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, to use his office or position for any gratification, whether for himself, his relative or associate, when he makes any decision, or takes any action, in relation to any matter in which such officer, or any relative or associate of his, has an interest, whether directly or indirectly.

That is bribery gratification.

25. Duty to report bribery transactions

(1) Any person to whom any
gratification is given, promised, or offered, in contravention of any provision of this Act shall report such gift, promise or offer...


(3) Any person from whom any gratification has been solicited or obtained, or an attempt has been made to obtain such gratification, in contravention of any provision of this Act shall at the earliest opportunity thereafter report such soliciting or obtaining...

Just hold on now—

Any service or favour that protects a corrupt teacher from disciplinary, civil, or criminal proceedings is gratification and could be legally corruption?

YES. even attempts.

28. Attempts, preparations, abetments and criminal conspiracies punishable as offence

(1) Any person who—

(a) attempts to commit any offence under this Act;

(b) does any act preparatory to or in furtherance of the commission of any offence under this Act; or

(c) abets or is engaged in a criminal conspiracy to commit any offence under this Act,

commits such offence and shall on conviction be liable to the punishment provided for such offence.

MACC agrees.

Elaborating on the plan to press charges against the duo, the high-ranking officer said MACC was looking at Section 23 of MACC Act as there was an element of gratification in the albeit non-monetary.

"Gratification is not only money but (in this case) it includes an order to remove the findings to save oneself from legal action," he explained.


In this trial, Najib is accused of having abused his position to obtain protection from civil or criminal action regarding his role in the operations of 1MDB, by instructing in February 2016 for the Auditor-General’s finalised audit report on 1MDB to be amended before it was presented to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), while Arul Kanda is accused of having abetted Najib.

You might already know this case.


The Courts

Federal Constitution

Penal Code

Public Officers (Conduct & Discipline) Regulations 1993

Education Act 1996

Child Act 2001

MACC Act 2009

Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017

All MOE & PSC circulars; all case law


Royal Malaysian Police 

Welfare Department

Civil Litigation

but they all depend on THIS LEGAL GOLDMINE:

Students, parents, and teachers that have:

Victim / survivor testimony


Audio, video, or documentary evidence

they are the keys to justice.


Victim / survivor testimony


Audio, video, or documentary evidence


this all sounds super illegal.

It is absolutely illegal.

But to the corrupt, committing one (1) more crime to hide ten (10) prior crimes is incredibly enticing. Thus, their #1 goal becomes to create as much distance as possible between the Courts and (a) victim / survivors, (b) eyewitnesses, and (c) evidence.


Coordinated strategies by high-ranking public servants to blackmail, threaten, intimidate, and harass students, parents, and teachers that could testify against the perpetrator(s) in a disciplinary, civil, and/or criminal proceeding.

why would higher-ranking officers just follow along?

Sometimes in long-term corruption cases, higher-ranking MOE officers join to assist their subordinate officers. The question is why: why wouldn't they just report the corruption? Because external reports will expose the higher-ranking officers' failures to prevent the misconduct, so they want to save themselves.

Otherwise, the Courts or the people will ask, "How could the superior officer not know? That corruption went on for so long. If the superior officers had done their duties, they would've prevented this corruption years ago."

Ministry of Education officers allegedly threatening child victims to destroy testimony

Ministry of Education officers allegedly interfering in "fair" internal investigations of MOE misconduct

I am a retired Education Ministry officer. Throughout my time in the ministry, I have witnessed corruption which occurred in the operations that leads all the way to the top. Everyone that works there knew it. … Usually, the integrity unit reports will be taken up to the secretary-general, then to the minister's office. At the minister's office, it will just pile up and be used as manuals for manoeuvring. According to the integrity officers, these reports are often abused to identify who are willing and who that won't sign off documents for their dirty work.

Ministry of Education officers allegedly fabricating or destroying critical documentary evidence

Ministry of Education officers allegedly ignoring the Ministry's own role in terrorizing witnesses

After almost 50 days of extensive search and rescue by the authorities, the Department of Orang Asli Development (Jakoa) and the villagers, only two [of seven] children were found alive, in terribly emaciated condition, on the verge of death. … The principal of SK Pos Tohoi, on the other hand, thinks that nobody is responsible for this incident … "Will you send your own children to this school?" asked the reporter, to which the education ministry representative responded to by laughing.
“There are many instances of corruption. In fact, there are cases of teachers asking for ‘anu’ (sex) from students if they would like to pass their examinations,“ [MACC Chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull] said … [he] said many of these cases were not tried in court as the students were not willing to come forward and testify. … Maszlee said it was hard for the ministry to act if victims refuse to come forward, adding that the ministry aims to make schools the safest place for both students and teachers.

Ministry of Education officers allegedly promoting extreme corruption against rural students

Bekas Ketua Setiausaha Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia (KPM), Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad kelihatan teragak-agak ketika menjawab persoalan bertubi-tubi yang dikemukakan oleh peguam bela Rosmah, Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kadir. Apabila perkara itu diketahui oleh KPM, … Alias mengakui sehingga bersara, beliau tidak pernah membuat laporan polis walaupun sedia maklum dengan apa yang telah berlaku berhubung pindaan kontrak tersebut.
Kes rasuah atau salah guna kuasa membabitkan sektor pendidikan di Sabah adalah serius, kata Timbalan Pengarah (Pencegahan) Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) Sabah, Awang Samsul Baharam Bungso. Beliau berkata mengikut siasatan pihaknya, kebanyakan yang disiasat adalah melibatkan pelbagai kesalahan termasuk mengemukakan tuntutan palsu, memalsukan dokumen dan pecah amanah. … “Ini juga menjadi satu kesalahan kerana bersubahat dengan pihak atasan sekolah,” katanya lagi.

The end result

What does corruption in education look like?

Examples of MOE Offficers committing corurption

"Do not report the the misconduct. We wait for the MOE. Stop trying to be a 'hero' here."

"The school is our family. Do not leak our problems to the public or to the police."

"Use the proper channels, please! That does not mean MACC nor the police lah!"

"Just transfer that teacher before the parents find out; tell them it's just a misunderstanding."

"If there's misconduct, we will cover it up internally. Respect the school's reputation."

"Who knows these parents? Tell them, there's a huge risk if they dare to write a police report."

"We both agreed to not admit knowing about the misconduct in the PPD report."

"We need to slow down that student's arrogant bravery. We need to do something so they drop the case."

Examples of people protecting corurption

"What happened is over now. Focus on the future now!"

"Why do we need any reform to stop corruption? Too many problems. Stop playing politics!"

"Who is innocent? Stop judging other people. Respect teachers that abuse their powers."

"Why are you all so sensitive? It's a joke. Stop making it such a big deal if teachers violate SOP."

"If any student wants to complain, follow the SOP! Let the internal MOE team investigate and only them."

"My favourite politician has never talked about this. Thus, it means this isn't a serious problem."

"I was never abused in school, so I doubt this ever happened. It's just so hard to believe!"

"These children are being controlled. I haven't been to a school in 20 years, but I am confident students today are just as afraid as I was!"

Rakyat Jaga Rakyat.
Inside and outside the school.

"Don't wait for politicians to make a small change in 5-10 years. Their children do not go to our schools."

"If a survivor receives three upsetting messages from the corrupt teachers and their supporters, we must ensure they receive 10 messages of support from us."

"Teachers target parents as corrupt allies to silence children. But that admission confirms parents actually have power. United parents are the dream for our children and a nightmare for the corrupt."

"Only those who play with fire get burned. Schools should not be afraid of a police or MACC investigation. Why should they be afraid of MACC? An independent investigation will settle issue to the school's benefit."

"All this time, corrupt MOE officers have threatened whistleblowers. Thus, honest teachers want parents to vote for politicians that will truly protect whistleblowers."

"As a class, we give you 100% support. The teacher cannot abuse their power! The good & brave parents are already supporting you. We're in this together: the corrupt cannot run away."

Even our independent enforcement agencies are not as powerful nor prepared as they claim

“Tan Sri (Abu Kassim) had hinted of the consequences of indicting a sitting prime minister, and I told him it would not be a problem, as we are doing it for the nation,” he said. Shukri completed two investigation papers on the RM2.6 billion and on SRC International. He said more than 100 witnesses had their statements recorded in the course of the investigation. … Shukri said he was threatened with the sack, forced into early retirement and even received a live bullet. He said he and his fellow investigators were under immense pressure, including having their witnesses spirited away.