418 civil servants arrested for corruption last year

by ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN & DASHVEENJIT KAUR / graphic by TMR

THE Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission arrested 418 civil servants last year for various graft-related offences, the Dewan Rakyat was informed yesterday.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s (PM) Department (Law) Mohamed Hanipa Maidin said from the total detainees, about 140 individuals were charged in court.

He was responding to a question by Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz (Barisan Nasional [BN]-Tanah Merah) who asked on the number of civil servants who were arrested and charged for corrupt practices in 2018. The deputy minister, however, did not disclose any names.

Since Pakatan Harapan swept to power on May 9, 2019, several high-profile corruption charges have been made on a number of key individuals served under the previous administration.

They include former PM Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak, former Deputy PM Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and former Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor on charges related to misappropriation of funds.

Najib alone has been charged six times in court with 42 corruption and money-laundering charges.

On a supplementary question from Ikmal Hisham on whether the government intends to limit the number of years a civil servant is allowed to serve in a particular position or state to avoid graft, Mohamed Hanipa said

currently, there is no such plan. He said the current placement process based on time suitability and vacancy would remain.

“At the moment, there are no plans to reshuffle government staff. We admit there may be justification for such a move, but we still feel that the situation now is under control.

“The current procedure will go on, unless the situation becomes desperate,” he said.

Mohamed Hanipa added that the government would continue with efforts introduced by the previous administration to fight graft as long as it brings positive changes.

This included the setting of an Integrity Unit in each government ministry and agency as had been previously introduced by BN.