According to a study that was run by Jobstreet, at least 26% of Malaysians admit to having faked their MCs at least once to get a free day off. And these are just the people who admitted to their misdemeanour, because 57% of employers claim to have staff who handed them a fake MC before.
As you can see, there is a huge discrepancy between employers and employees.
According to an investigative by Cilisos, faking your MC can be a dangerous thing, legally. It’s understandable if many Malaysians do not choose reveal their misdemeanour.
Most employers will respond to the fake MC with a slap on the wrist and in-house punishments, but still, the legal threat exists. 20 years is a long time to sit in prison for one day off.
The study may have been slightly dated, but what it does is highlight a level of mistrust between employers and their workers.
In our current corporate system that doesn’t recognise ‘personal days’ as viable, apparently almost 60% of employers feel like their staff is trying to pull the wool over their eyes, causing a corporate environment of mistrust and ‘us versus them’ mentality.
This may be symptomatic of a larger system that needs a second look, but we can tackle bigger demons one step at a time. And one small step is to address the pesky document itself— the Medical Certs.
In light of these troubling office dynamics, we began to wonder—is it really that easy to fake your way to get a medical cert in Malaysia?
And so we decided to run our own little test. We tried out the different types of sicknesses that could be faked, and the results are as follows.
We approached 5 different panel clinics, faking 5 different illnesses to see if they would grant us MCs. On top of this, we also checked at the counter to see if they would:
None of the clinics we approached were aware of our investigation, and their names have been redacted to protect their identities.
Not bad, but as you can see, these methods don’t always work.
Going about it the “legal” albeit dubious way is able to net you at least one day’s worth of MC as long as you have the acting chops to make it work.
But if you want a method that’s more “promising”, you don’t have to go to a clinic.
Clinics giving out fake MCs was the hot topic a couple of years ago, not to mention printing shops who are easily able to replicate an MC as long as they have the template and the equipment. But with the anonymity that the internet provides, buying MCs can now be done much more conveniently online.
Like a black market business, these movements hide themselves from detection by WhatsApp-only engagements, recommendation-based marketing, and in one instance putting all of their messages (including contact details and payment methods) in pictures, rendering them unGoogleable.
Recently, real doctors were also implicated in a Penang-based operation that gave out fake MCs to drivers of public vehicles, for prices between RM3 to RM30. So, this means there are even qualified doctors who are in on perpetuating the con.
So we gave it a shot.
For RM30 (including postage, because that’s good customer service), you can get an MC delivered to your doorstep via express delivery the very next day, with the option to add your preferred sickness.
Which just all goes to show that the 57% of employers’ worries are definitely based on cold hard facts.
No matter your methods, this practice of faking MCs is a legitimate issue that could put a damper on office productivity, as well as destroy the sense of trust between management and workers.
While we did go out to get the MCs, we would like to state for the record that the MCs were never handed in to the HR of our organisation, and thus never used to illegally take leaves. The expenses for the MC’s came out of our own pockets, and were never charged to the company. The purpose of us getting the MC’s was purely investigative, in order to identify the ease at which anyone in Malaysia can get fake MC’s.
Below, you can see the MCs that we have gotten for the purposes of this investigation, destroyed and never used.
So pursue these methods at your own discretion.
We would also like to point out that if you actually gain inspiration from this article and use the methods that we described here, any trouble that you get into, whether legal or with your company, is at your own risk. You’re opening yourself up to get penalised.
We did not highlight these methods as a recommendation, merely to point out the gaping flaws in our current system.
The issue of fake medical claims in Malaysia has had a high impact. Companies reported an estimated loss of RM2.9 billion in 2015 in terms of paying workers who are replacing colleagues on medical leave.
If a significant amount of these medical claims are faked, this means that the employers are losing out as their employees abuse the benefits they were given.
With such losses and lack of trust, some companies have taken to removing the benefits or limiting their employees’ access to healthcare; neither are ideal solutions.
Seeing the gap, Malaysian startup HealthMetrics was launched as an alternative to help companies manage employee medical benefits and costs. Their benefits and services include:
HRs can save on medical costs when seeking treatments as HealthMetrics provides panel rates. They can also decide on their own preferred care providers and systematic healthcare processing.
When it comes to MCs:
For the issue of employees faking their illnesses to the doctors to gain their MCs, HealthMetrics also provides reports and analytics that can record the trends in employee behaviours, available to HRs on demand.
This also helps employers to study employee behaviour in seeking treatment (frequency, type of illness, name of clinic visits, etc).
These measures from HealthMetrics may not instantly solve the issues brought up by faking illnesses, but it’s a start, and it’s one that employers need.
This article was brought to you by HealthMetrics.