PETALING JAYA: The anti-graft body wants more bite to act against corrupt public officials, including ministers, assemblymen and other politicians.
There is a loophole in the existing law that needs to be plugged so that no one can escape punishment.
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Azam Baki said many politicians were being appointed into government bodies, including government-linked companies (GLCs).
“Public officials awarding contracts to immediate family members and tender abuses are a very serious problem in the country, especially in GLCs.
“So we need to tighten the law, specifically Section 23 of the MACC Act,” he said in an interview with Sin Chew Daily.
Section 23 prohibits “an officer of a public body or public officials” from abusing their power for any gratification for themselves or for their relatives.
Offenders face a jail term of up to 20 years and a fine of RM10,000 or five times the amount of bribes involved, whichever is higher.
Azam said Section 23 needed to be worded clearly to prevent immediate family members, relatives, cronies or proxies of public officials from being awarded government contracts.
He said besides the amendment, a new law – the Corporate Liability Act – is being mooted to crack down on government officials and private sector employees who are guilty of corruption and abuse of power.
Among others, this new law aims to prevent the private sector from bribing public officials.
In addition, companies implicated in a corruption scandal will be blacklisted or face other legal action.
“We’ve discussed the legal details with the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
“The Bill has also received the go-ahead from the Cabinet and is expected to be tabled in the coming Parliament session in October,” said Azam.
He said the main objective of the Bill was to compel the private sector to stay away from corruption.
“If the employer or an employee is implicated in a graft charge, the company should bear the responsibility,” he said.