MACC sends clear warning after latest bust

PUTRAJAYA: The latest anti-graft blitz which crippled the multimillion ringgit operation of two syndicates is a clear warning to all parties not to take advantage of loopholes and weaknesses in the government system, says the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Its deputy chief commissioner Datuk Seri Ahmad Khusairi Yahaya (pic) said the arrests also showed that the authorities would go after and not spare anyone suspected of being involved in corrupt practices.

“The perception is that action will only be taken against those who accept bribes, which in most cases involve civil servants.

“Let me point out that corruption is a ‘unique’ crime. Unlike other crimes, both parties benefit from acts of corruption.

“These two cases are proof that we do not take selective action. We will act against all wrongdoers, ” he said when contacted.

Recently, the MACC uncovered the multimillion ringgit activities of two syndicates – one that operates as a project cartel and the other which hacked the Immigration Department system to issue false temporary employment visit passes.

In a recent interview with The Star, MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki said between 2015 and last year, 1,131 people have been arrested for offering bribes.

Ahmad Khusairi said in the case of the project cartel, the monopolising of projects under the cartel had affected companies in construction and maintenance.

He said in order to survive, some of these companies were forced to go through the cartel to secure a project, which hiked up the cost.

“We cannot lay blanket blame on the civil service as there are many public officers with integrity.

“Although the number of those accepting kickbacks were small, it must be put to a stop, ” he said.

So far, investigations showed the project cartel was involved in monopolising 345 government tenders worth RM3.8bil since 2014.

“Greedy and unethical businessmen are looking for ways to bypass laws and manipulate the system.

“It does not help that ‘insiders’ are in cahoots to rake in illegal gains, ” he said.

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