MACC: Gift-giving for government contracts, licences has to stop

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 06 Aug 2019

PUTRAJAYA: The practice of gift-giving to secure contracts and licence has to be stopped, says Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Latheefa Koya (pic).

Citing World Bank surveys from 2015, Latheefa said that data collected from manufacturing firms showed that 51.4% of Malaysian companies are expected to offer "gifts" in order to secure government contracts.

She added that the surveys showed that the value of these gifts are said to be around 3.3% of the contract value and also said that another 28.8% of firms are expected to offer "handouts" in order to obtain operating licences.

"This has somewhat become a norm in the Government's procurement department and this culture needs to be stopped," she said.

Latheefa said this at a dialogue session with representatives from government-linked companies and the private sector with regards to Section 17A of the MACC Act on Tuesday (Aug 6).

Under the new provision, which will come into force from June 2020, a commercial organisation could be prosecuted if a person associated with the organisation commits a corrupt act to enable the organisation to acquire or retain a contract or interest.

Latheefa also said that the private sector is strongly urged to set up an initiative similar to that carried out following a directive issued last year by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Under the directive, all government-linked companies and companies owned by federal and state agencies will have to set up integrity and governance units (IGU) by the end of 2019.

"The establishment of IGUs in all corporations will ensure that these organisations are working together with the MACC to systematically rid the country of this culture of corruption," she said.

On the introduction of Section 17A, Latheefa said this was to promote good governance as well as a deterrent.

She explained that as a signatory of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), Malaysia will have to put in place measures to prevent corruption involving the private sector as well as to enhance accounting and auditing standards in the private sector.

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