PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) has refuted allegations of its involvement in any quid pro quo arrangement with the ride-sharing service Uber.
"Earlier this week, we were surprised to find ourselves named in an article which levelled serious accusations at the way Uber has operated in the region," said the government agency in a statement on Friday.
MaGIC CEO Ashran Datuk Ghazi commented: "At MaGIC we regularly collaborate with corporates, connecting them with Malaysia's leading entrepreneurial talent to help build a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem."
MaGIC is the agency under the Finance Ministry tasked to nurture the local start-up and entrepreneurship ecosystem.
He said these strategic partnerships help inspire and nurture young entrepreneurs at the ideation stage, bridging a gap in the ecosystem.
Asean's Next Great IDEA (ANGI), which was launched in August 2016, is an ideation lab co-organised by MaGIC, Uber and another corporate partner.
In November 2016, MaGIC hosted the top 20 participants in a six-day ideation lab at their campus.
The collaboration saw MaGIC compiling the content, planning modules, and marketing the programme to get participants from the Asean region.
The statement explained that Uber was responsible for the ideation lab, while a third corporate partner provided the start-up strategy.
"Similar to our other collaborations with corporates, ANGI was subject to stringent controls and proper procedures. We uphold the highest standards of integrity in all of our programmes and the way in which we conduct our operations," it added.
According to Bloomberg, the United States Department of Justice is currently investigating Uber to determine whether it broke laws regarding overseas bribery.
The report said that as a result, Uber's law firm was investigating the corporate donation worth "tens of thousands of dollars" that Uber made in August 2016 to MaGIC.