The ABAC Group is the only UKAS Accredited Certification Body in Malaysia offering ISO37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System (ABMS). The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), set up in 1995, is the sole national accreditation body recognised by the British government to assess the competence of organisations that provide certification, testing, inspection and calibration services. It evaluates these conformity assessment bodies for competence against internationally recognised standards such as ISO and accredits (recognising competence of organisations to provide conformity assessment tasks). Only a UKAS Accredited Certification Body can issue accreditation certificates. And in Malaysia, only ABAC Group is permitted to use the UKAS mark on accredited certification for the ISO 37001 ABMS. The validity of accreditation can be checked on the UKAS website.
Malaysia is sticking to its guns on corrupt corporations and senior personnel
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 (MACC Act) has been amended (1 June 2020), among others, to introduce corporate liability provision for bribery and corruption under Section 17A. Since then, MACC has arrested several individuals:
- A duo over RM336,000 claims for 1Malaysia mobile clinic
- O&G company property manager and his wife for allegedly accepting bribes and committing money laundering amounting to about RM3.4 million
- Former Prasarana Berhad chairman and Pasir Salak MP, Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman for alleged abuse of power.
- An immigration syndicate leader involving fake temporary employment passe
- Six people suspected of installing devices and software to access the Immigration Department’s MyIMMs System illegally.
- And many more…
It is time to raise the bar, with MACC Act’s corporate liability provisions in place and these many arrests so early in the year, MACC is all business.
Malaysian Anti-corruption bodies
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is a government agency in Malaysia investigating and prosecuting corruption in the public and private sectors. The MACC was modelled after top anti-corruption agencies, such as Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption and the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption, Australia.
To ensure MACC’s integrity and to protect citizen’s rights, five independent bodies are monitoring MACC activities: the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board, the Special Committee on Corruption, the Complaints Committee, the Operations Review Panel, and the Corruption Consultation and Prevention Panel/ All five bodies monitor MACC separately from other government offices to provide an independent perspective.
MACC jurisdictions under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 is dedicated to investigate and prevent any form of corruption and abuse of power. Act 2009 also provides power to the MACC to investigate any offence under other acts listed as “Prescribed Offence” as follows: –
- An offense punishable under section 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 213, 214, 215, 384, 385, 386, 387, 388, 389, 403, 404, 405, 406, 407, 408, 409, 417 , 418, 419, 420, 465, 466, 467, 468, 469, 471, 472, 473, 474, 475, 476 and 477A of the Penal Code;
- An offence punishable under section 137 of the Customs Act 1954;
- Offences under Part III of the Election Offences Act 1954;
- An attempt to commit any of the offences referred to in paragraphs (a) to (c); or
- An abetment or conspiracy to commit a crime (as that term was defined in the Penal Code) any offence referred to in paragraphs (a) to (c), whether or not the offence is committed in consequence thereof.
If you do business in Malaysia or with Malaysia, Your Company Is Liable For its corrupt activities
Transparency International‘s 2020 Corruption Perception Index ranks Malaysia 57nd place out of 180 countries and a score of 51/100. According to experts and business people, the index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt, and 100 is very clean. 2020 was a year of struggle across the globe, and with an average score of 45, it is clear that the Asia Pacific region struggled to combat corruption and tackle the profound health and economic impact of COVID-19.
The world is starting to notice the disastrous effects of bribery and corporate corruption and is going after businesses and officers within the corporation on a noticeably increasing scale. And frequently, those accused organisations surprisingly have to answer charges that outside third-party representatives of the company committed. One of the most recent notable cases in Malaysia was the very high-profile investigation was MACC itself.
On 31 July 2010, the MACC Chief, Abu Kassim Mohamed, pledged to resign if any graft reports were not investigated by his agency, including high-profile cases involving government ministers. In a challenge, Raja Petra Kamarudin, a famous online blogger and political activist, began publishing what he claims are MACC copies of investigation reports against the former Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) chief Zulkifly Mat Noor, National Civics Bureau (BTN) director-general Shagul Hamid Abdullah and former Menteri Besar of Selangor Khir Toyo. Also included is a preliminary investigation report based on a report where Kulim assemblyman Lim Soo Nee claimed that he was offered a bribe to defect to the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.
To protect yourself, You Need ISO 37001
ISO 37001 sets the standard for such measures by specifying steps that an organisation must implement to develop a management system that prevents, detects and responds to bribery while complying with anti-bribery laws within the organisation’s operations and by outside affiliated business partners (such as agents, consultants, suppliers, distributors and other third-parties). ISO 37001 ABMS is a good international practice to have as a business!
In summary, those best-practice measures include:
- Implementing an anti-bribery policy and program.
- Adequately communicating the policy and program to all relevant personnel and business associates.
- Appointing a compliance manager to oversee the program.
- Providing appropriate anti-bribery training for personnel.
- Assessing bribery risks, including appropriate due diligence.
- Taking reasonable and proportionate steps ensures that outside organisations and third-party business associates have implemented appropriate anti-bribery controls.
- Verifying that personnel will comply with the anti-bribery policy.
- Controlling non-monetary outflows, such as gifts, hospitality, donations, and similar benefits, ensures that they do not have a corrupt purpose.
- Implementing appropriate financial, procurement and other commercial controls to help prevent the risk of bribery.
- Implementing effective whistle-blowing and other internal and external reporting procedures.
- Investigating and dealing appropriately with any actual or suspected bribery occurrence.
In a nutshell, ISO 37001 considers a compendium of international best practices, enabling global organisations to apply and implement uniform anti-bribery measures irrespective of the various countries in which they operate.
Becoming Compliant in Malaysia with ABAC Group, the only UKAS Accredited Certification Body in Malaysia
Because ISO 37001 is built around a set of generally accepted requirements, global organisations can become certified in the standard, utilising the services of an accredited third-party certifying body. Certification will add a distinct level of credibility to the organisation’s management systems and must be completed by a qualified, independent third-party specifically versed in ISO 37001:2016 certification.
Becoming certified in ISO 37001 enables the organisation to demonstrate adequate procedures to detect and prevent bribery on a multi-national level. Additionally, such certification:
- Ensures that the organisation is implementing a viable anti-bribery management program utilising widely accepted controls and systems.
- Provides assurance to management, investors, business associates, personnel and other stakeholders that the organisation actively pursues internationally recognised and accepted processes to prevent bribery and corruption.
- Protects the organisation, its assets, shareholders and directors from the effects of bribery.
- Provides acceptable evidence to prosecutors or courts that the organisation has taken reasonable steps to prevent bribery and corruption.
Bribery continues to be a significant problem worldwide, and conforming to an internationally recognised standard to combat the practice while promoting ethics in business will help organisations succeed in the ever-expanding global marketplace.
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 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000 Risk Management Systems.