MACC watching other local councils after bribery case involving DBKL officer

KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is watching local councils nationwide to look out for civil servants receiving bribes to let illegal businesses operate, says Tan Sri Azam Baki.

“I want to make it clear that we are also monitoring other big states,” he said after an event here on Monday (June 10).

The MACC chief commissioner said this was among the agency’s focus now.

“This is a priority area for us, we have a lot of work to do now,” he added.

Azam said this when asked if government bodies or local authorities were involved in such activities in Sabah on Monday (June 10).

This comes after the MACC detained a Kuala Lumpur City Hall senior officer in his 40s last Thursday (June 6) to help investigate allegations of monthly bribes collected from businesses run by foreigners in Kuala Lumpur.

The senior officer is believed to have received between RM100,000 and RM500,000 monthly from syndicates running unlicensed massage parlours, entertainment outlets, and other premises.

Besides him, two other civil servants as well as a former government servant were also detained in connection with the matter.

Azam said the MACC is not expecting to make any further arrests in the case for now, adding that they are now conducting a full investigation on the suspects, including looking into their assets and their finances.

He added they believed these were proceeds the detainees had allegedly obtained going back several years due to abuse of power.

On a separate issue, Azam said the MACC is also monitoring all ports throughout the country to curb leakage caused by false declaration of goods for the purpose of tax evasion.

He said they were working closely with the Customs Department in the matter, adding such activities take place due to corruption and power abuse as well.

“This is one of our efforts with the Customs Department as well as other agencies, to reclaim the people’s money and ensure taxes are collected.

"If there were any who managed to slip, we will use the existing laws such as the MACC Act 2009 to reclaim the money,” he said.

Azam cited a recent case in Port Klang where smugglers had falsely declared containers that had come through there as transporting items like wheelchairs.

“But when the containers were opened, there was pork. Others had electrical appliances which should have higher taxes. This is happening in many places in Malaysia.

“(As for Sabah), we will disclose more in the future,” he said, adding that the authorities will finally catch up to the wrongdoers.

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