KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has among the highest number of forged document cases in the country with 49 investigation papers opened by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to date since 2019, S. Karunanithy.
The state MACC director said this translated to 46 arrests, where 38 offenders were charged in court.
He said this is based on the Auditor-General's report, where most cases involved contractors who were applying for food supply and distribution contracts in hostels and canteens.
"We got these cases based on tip-offs and complaints filed.
"While we cannot say such things are not rampant elsewhere, maybe in Sabah they did not realise, or did not see it as a serious offence, that was why they did it.
"I am sure it is a wake-up call for us after learning about it from the audit report, so that is why we hold such a seminar today (Aug 25) to make sure it does not continue happening," he said when asked the reason why the figures were high.
He however, did not elaborate on other figures like statistics of cases from other states.
Karunanithy told this to reporters after an integrity seminar Sabah MACC co-hosted with the state Finance Ministry to brief contractors on offences relating to corruption.
He said among errant practices under Section 471 of the Penal Code (knowingly using forged documents) was the use of fake bank statements to show the offenders' strong financial standing.
Karunanithy said they limited the number of seminar participants to 250 which was split into morning and afternoon sessions, and that they plan to bring the seminar to other districts like Tawau.
"So my advice to contractors in Sabah and Malaysia in general, is to avoid using fake supporting documents to obtain contracts, as it is not only an offence under the Penal Code but also under Section 18 of the MACC Act 2009," he added.