Dept heads who fail to report corrupt practices can lose jobs, face charges, says MACC chief

PUTRAJAYA: Heads of departments or units who fail to report any corrupt practices in their respective areas may end up losing their jobs or even facing criminal charges, says Tan Sri Azam Baki.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner said this was among the penalties being considered to penalise those in charge for keeping silent on corrupt activities carried out by their subordinates.

“We want to emphasise accountability from heads of departments and superior officers to report corruption to higher-ups and the MACC.

“If taken lightly, it can cause the collapse of the administration.

“We welcome the suggestion from Prime Minister, and we will work together with the Civil Service Department (JPA) and Chief Secretary to the Government to discuss a suitable mechanism for reporting," he told reporters after attending a book launch by Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) titled "Sin of Corruption - A Religious Perspective" here on Thursday (June 13).

Apart from internal disciplinary action, Azam said that there are currently provisions under the MACC Act where those who fail to report corruption could also be charged.

However, he said a proper mechanism has to be put in place to specifically deal with heads of departments or units who fail to report corruption in their respective.

He said this was because there were several layers of hierarchy within departments or units which needs to be considered before a proper mechanism could be put in place.

"For example, those in the support group have their respective surpervisor to report to, while a technical assistants report to their senior engineers.

"So we need a reporting mechanism for them to report to the higher-ups or to the MACC," he said.

On June 10, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim proposed that the heads of government departments or units will not be given any promotion if they fail to report any corrupt practices in their respective areas.

The Prime Minister said that he will make the suggestion to the Chief Secretary to the Government.

Although the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and other authorities were doing well in their jobs, the government department heads and units must also play their role, Anwar said.

The Prime Minister also said that although there are some improvements in the Auditor-General's report compared to the previous years, more needed to be done to improve the country's situation.

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