Malaysia’s seemingly never-ending battle to fight bribery and corruption is taking a decidedly different turn this year, as specific measures, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) went into effect last year (2020) and we are starting to see the positive results! Pristine Offshore Sdn Bhd has become the first company to be charged with the newly introduced provision. The MACC made its first arrest ever with the offshore vessel support company and its former director Chew Ben Ben being charged yesterday (March 2021) under Section 17A of the MACC Act 2009 with one count of bribery involving RM321,350 to ensure that it was awarded a subcontract from Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd and one count of bribery, framed under Section 16(b)(A) of the MACC Act 2009. Meanwhile 44 individuals, including 32 Road Transport Department (JPJ) officers and a traffic cop have also been arrested by MACC officers for allegedly protecting lorry drivers (by accepting bribes) who committed traffic offences, particularly overloading and technical shortcomings of the lorries. The commission highlighted that the detainees held various ranks, including senior officers, while the proxies are members of the public. Take action now with the help of “The National Anti-Corruption Plan.”
The newly MACC measure will saddle corporations and other organisations – along with their directors, controllers and senior management – with the full burden of proving that they are not involved in allegations of corrupt activity by their employees and third-party partners. That burden of proof means that corporations will have to effectively demonstrate that policies and procedures are firmly in place that deter, detect and defend against incidences of bribery at all levels of the organisation. Furthermore current Prime Minister of Malaysia (the Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad) has taken an active role in the fight against corruption.
“[…] most Malaysians were disgusted with the rampant corruption in the country involving the Government which was internationally described as kleptocracy. They expressed their disgust through the ballot box leading to the change of Government, removing a party/coalition which had ruled the nation since independence. It is therefore imperative for the new Government to always be reminded that the single most burning issue which was capable of bringing down a 61-year old Government was its corrupt practice. The new Government under the Pakatan Harapan coalition, is committed to combat corruption. For this it had, since it took over the nation’s governance, undertaken measures and introduced policies that are unique and innovative.”
Part of the measures is the newly launched “The National Anti-Corruption Plan” (NACP). NACP is an anti-corruption policy in Malaysia that reflects the people’s expectations for a greater corrupt-free nation that promotes transparency, accountability and integrity culture in every Malaysians. This integrated anti-corruption plan, is the first of its kind to be formulated in the country, is in line with Article 5 of the United Nation Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) to which Malaysia is a member party to the convention.
To develop the NACP, the Prime Minister’s Departement was guided by the “National Anti-Corruption Strategies: A Practical Guide for Development and Implementation” by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and received support from the relevant stakeholders in particularly the Malaysian
Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the National Audit Department. Furthermore, a collaborative effort with myForesight®, Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) had produced a thorough and valuable future anti-corruption scenario planning until the year 2030.
The strategies in this plan are the results of series of deliberations and consultations conducted with the public and private sectors, the business and media communities, NGOs, anti-corruption experts and academicians. In addition, a number of recommendations and reviews from international initiatives were also taken into account during the drafting of the plan. These include recommendations by the G20 countries as well as the recommendations made from our 1st and 2nd Cycles of the Review of Implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).
This plan will be the main reference and acts as a guide for all Government agencies and other relevant entities in developing their respective Organisational Anti-Corruption Plan (OACP). The OACP should be thorough enough to cover issues that need to be addressed internally. We sincerely hope that this plan will help achieve Malaysia’s vision towards being a corrupt-free nation by the year 2023. Malaysia needs all our support and commitment to put an end to any form of corruption.anisation, contact ABAC®-Malaysia today.
Section 17A of the MACC Act 2018
Section 17A of the MACC Act 2018 will enable the prosecution of individuals accused of corruption, not only organisations. Under the provisions, any organisation’s “directors, controllers, officers, partners, or managers are deemed to have committed the same offence. This carries a maximum penalty of a fine of not less than 10 times the value of the gratification or RM1 million, whichever is higher, and 20 years’ jail unless the firm can prove that it had in place procedures designed to prevent corrupt practices.
The provision is modelled after the United Kingdom’s Section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010, which is widely regarded as ‘the toughest anti-corruption legislation in the world'” (New Straits Times, 2019). Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Malaysia improved by six points and jumped 10 places to 51 in Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). The CPI “measures public sector corruption, including bribery, diversion of public funds, public office use for private gain, and nepotism in the civil service” (Free Malaysia Today, 2020). The change in law and perception meets popular demand in Malaysia, with too many bribery and corruption cases happening.
MACC Act’s provisions are meant to encourage business and commercial activities to be carried out in a corruption-free environment; to encourage all commercial organisations to take adequate measures to prevent corruption in their respective organisations, and to promote better corporate governance and legal compliance by requiring corporations to take proactive roles in preventing corruption.
Demonstrating “adequate procedures” with ISO 37001 certification
Now more than ever, it is critical that organisations undergo a program of compliance and demonstrate “adequate procedures” with ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management standard certification. ISO 37001 is established, tried and tested program that provides a comprehensive program for preventing bribery and corruption. It can be tailored to organisations of all sizes and industries, and certification requires the demonstration that processes have been implemented effectively – with follow-up evaluations. The new corporate liability provisions to the MACC Act are important for safeguarding Malaysia’s economy and investments.
It is crucial to trust your anti-bribery and compliance strategies to accredited ISO 37001 certification providers. ABAC®-Malaysia has recently announced that the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) has accredited its ABAC Certification services for administering the ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems standard. ABAC®-Malaysia provides ISO 37001:2016 anti-bribery management systems certification for all types of organisations across the globe that implement prescribed measures to prevent, detect and address bribery. Under this, UKAS accredited ABAC® in the UK, Malaysia and UAE for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems (ABMS) certification under ISO/IEC 17021-1: 2015 conformity assessment requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems.
Trust ABAC®-Malaysia, your accredited certification provider in Malaysia, to comply with requirements of Section 17A of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act (MACCA 2018) with confidence. To learn more about how the ABAC®-Malaysia can help tailor an ISO 37001 certification program to your organisation.
Prove that your business is ethical with a FREE Gap Analysis of Highest Ethical Business (worth USD 4500):
Prove that your business is ethical. Complete our FREE Highest Ethical Business Assessment (HEBA) and evaluate your current Corporate Compliance Program. Find out if your organisation’s compliance program is in the line with worldwide Compliance, Business Ethics, Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Frameworks. Let ABAC® experts prepare a complimentary gap analysis of your compliance program to evaluate if it meets “adequate procedures” requirements under UK Bribery Act, DOJ’s Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs Guidance and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
The HEBA survey is designed to evaluate your compliance with the adequate procedures to prevent bribery and corruption across the organisation. This survey is monitored and evaluated by qualified ABAC® professionals with Business Ethics, Legal and Compliance background. The questions are open-ended to encourage a qualitative analysis of your Compliance Program and to facilitate the gap analysis process.
The survey takes around 10 minutes to complete.
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ABAC® programs protect your organisation from damaging litigation & safeguard your business in the global marketplace by providing certification & training in internationally recognised ISO standards, such as ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 19600 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000 Risk Management Systems.
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