Specific laws needed to curb graft among civil servants, says Abu Zahar Ujang

PETALING JAYA: There should be specific laws to weed out corruption among government servants, says Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang.

"The enactment of the Misconduct In Public Office Act should be sped up as the board views seriously the misconduct of officers of public bodies which result in the deliberate leakages and losses of government funds," he said when handing over recommendations of the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board (Acab) to the Special Committee on Corruption (SCC) in Parliament on Thursday (April 21).

Abu Zahar, who chairs the board, said these were among the recommendations contained in a review carried out by the board on operations and functions of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

He also said the board recommended that laws on beneficial ownership should be enacted to help combat graft.

The proposed law, he said, would compel commercial entities and individuals to declare their beneficial ownership with regard to a particular matter.

He said the board also took note of the absence of laws to regulate political funding.

"Laws on political funding should also be developed as their absence... will expose political parties to corruption," he added.

He said the lack of such specific laws on political funding was viewed seriously by the board.

"The board recommends that the government enacts specific laws to regulate political donations to ensure political activities remain clean of corrupt elements, conflict of interest and exploitation of funds due to illegal activities," he added.

Also recommended was the setting up of a parliamentary special select committee on corruption.

"The board and SCC are in agreement that matters pertaining to corruption are placed under Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara through the select committee," he said.

He added that this included the appointment of the MACC chief commissioner, finances of the commission and related matters.

He added that an Anti-Corruption Service Commission should be set up to ensure that the MACC is empowered to hire qualified and capable officers.

However, he noted that the setting up of such a commission would require amending the Federal Constitution.

Abu Zahar also said it should be made compulsory for companies to implement an organisational anti-corruption plan aimed at fighting corruption in a more comprehensive manner.

He also said the SCC should make public the board's recommendations which will be tabled in Parliament by the Prime Minister.

Abu Zahar handed over the board’s review booklet to SCC chairman Senator Tan Sri Rais Yatim and its members.

Present at the handing over ceremony was MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki.

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