Do not blindly follow ministers’ orders, GLC chiefs urged

KUALA LUMPUR: Heads of government-linked companies (GLCs) and officials at the ministries should not blindly take instructions from ministers with regard to decisions tainted by corruption, says Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed (pic).

The advice by the director-general of the National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption (GIACC) was given after Section 17A of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 (Amendment 2018) came into effect on June 1.

“The role of the ministry’s secretary-general or chief executive officer of GLCs is to tell the minister that what they are asking for is wrong,” he said at a forum titled “Paving the Way Forward Towards A Corrupt Free Nation” held at the Malaysian Institute of Integrity here yesterday.

Abu Kassim, who was the former MACC chief commissioner, cited a case where a ministry’s secretary-general ended up behind bars for corruption after carrying out the bidding of a minister.

“The secretary-general was charged by the MACC for corruption merely because he wanted to please the minister, although it was wrong,” he said.

If such a situation emerges, he advised heads of GLCs and senior government officials to request the minister to put the instructions down officially in writing.

“Get it minuted during the board meeting as it will be a defence if it is in writing when the matter comes under investigation later.

“I guarantee 100% that the minister will not dare proceed with the matter if it is in writing,” he added.

National Higher Education Fund Board (PTPTN) chairman Wan Saiful Wan Jan, who also spoke at the forum, said that there were about 400 active federal GLCs.

“Ideally, my view is that Section 17A should also apply to GLCs.

Under Section 17A, a commercial organisation can be prosecuted if an individual from the company gives or agrees to give, promises or offers any form of bribe to any persons to benefit its business.

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