MACC: Malaysia completes 29 initiatives to eradicate corruption

The govt has roped in various key stakeholders as lead agencies in implementing the NACP’s initiatives


MALAYSIA has rolled out 29 out of the 115 initiatives planned under the National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP) 2019-2023, a framework developed to transform Malaysia into a corrupt-free nation.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki said the government has roped in various key stakeholders as lead agencies in implementing the NACP’s initiatives as the country acknowledges the importance of coordinated efforts in preventing corruption.

“The strategic plan was developed to fit the Malaysian context using internally derived data and guidelines, taking into account sources such as United Nations Convention Against Corruption standards and recommendations, the MACC manifesto and the report of the Malaysian government’s Institutional Reforms Committee.

“It has served as a platform for the government to review the current anti-corruption law, regulations and procedures in order to advocate and implement law reform and to revamp the existing anti-corruption framework effectively,” he said at the World Bank’s regional launch of its global report yesterday.

“As of Dec 31, 2020, 29 out of 115 initiatives have been completed, while other 86 initiatives are works in progress.”

He added that Malaysia has also made significant progress in fighting against corruption in the private sector as the corporate liability provision, which is known as Section 17A of the MACC 2009 Act, has been approved by both houses of the Parliament and came into effect on June 1, 2020.

“With the introduction of this provision, the MACC is now able to directly impose corporate liability on commercial organisations whose employees or associated persons are involved in corrupt practice for the benefit of the commercial organisations.

“Last March marked a milestone for MACC as we charged an offshore vessel support company for the first time under section 17A of MACC Act in Criminal Court.

“An investigation was carried out by MACC indicated a former director of the company to have allegedly given a bribe to a third-party to secure a subcontract in favour of the company,” he said.

The NACP, which was developed by the Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC), aims to make Malaysia a corruption-free country by 2023.

Azam said MACC is currently taking the lead in the implementation of the Organisational Anti-Corruption Plan, which was formulated to assist organisations, ministries, government departments and agencies to develop its own corporate anti-corruption strategy plan.

He added that between 2018 and 2020, 582,812 integrity pacts involving more than RM29 billion in public procurement contracts had been signed.

“MACC is currently working with the Finance Ministry in improving the implementation of the integrity pact including establishing a monitoring oversight mechanism,” he said.

In the World Bank’s report titled “Enhancing Government Effectiveness and Transparency — The Fight Against Corruption”, the global financial firm said a well-functioning institutional framework that provides for check-and-balance in government is essential in removing corrupted activities in a country.

“When the anti-corruption and governance bodies — the GIACC and MACC — are accorded more powers and resources to deliver their mandate without undue political interference, the message and intentions are clear.

“Grand corruption cases could be investigated with greater autonomy and independence and brought to trial.

“Likewise, the passage of Malaysia’s Public Services Act and the Ombudsman Act and institutionalising some of the ongoing reforms will be important for their sustainability in the long run and will minimise the risk of reversal with a change in government,” the firm said.

Meanwhile, strong support and a clear mandate from the top leadership is a prerequisite to pursuing difficult reforms, it added.

“The newly created GIACC was given a strong mandate from the country’s top leadership to coordinate the implementation of the NACP.

“The GIACC was also assigned as the secretariat of the Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption, which provides it with a high-level top leadership platform to discuss, monitor and report on the implementation status of the NACP,” World Bank said.

The bank also mentioned the importance of having a broader coalition of reformers that is not limited to public institutions and other formal institutions of government.

“The role played by civil society groups, the media, businesses, academia, international partners and other concerned parties also complemented the efforts of the MACC and GIACC to combat corruption.

“Their involvement was not just on the technical front, at times, they also provided the needed support to keep the reform agenda on track,” it said.