Monday, December 16

Help fight graft, MACC urges private sector and civil society

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KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has called on the private sector and civil society to join the fight against corruption as the government could not eradicate the menace on its own.

Its chief commissioner Latheefa Koya said corruption is the primary obstacle of the nation’s economic and social development.

“Organisations face serious risk of incurring criminal and civil liability, financial loss and reputational damage due to corruption by their personnel and business associates.

“To minimise this risk, organisations should implement a management programme to prevent, detect and deal with corruption both within their own organisation and in their dealings with their business associates,” she said in her speech at the launched of the Organisational Anti-Corruption Integrity Plan (OAICP) and Corruption Risk Management (CRM) Plan organised by the Projek Lintasan Kota Holding Sdn Bhd (PROLINTAS) group of companies here yesterday.

Also present was PROLINTAS Chief Executive Officer Datuk Mohammad Azlan Abdullah.

Latheefa said the nation has been calling for a corruption-free society for many years and it was high time for that call to be answered.

Therefore, she said the government has set up a number of comprehensive anti-corruption programmes including the National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP).

She explained that the NACP, an anti-corruption national policy that reflects the people’s expectations for a greater corrupt-free nation, would be the main reference for other relevant entities in developing their respective Organisation Anti-Corruption Plan (OACP).

“The OACP was also formulated with the aim of assisting and helping organisations to develop its own corporate anti-corruption strategy plan. It outlines the problem statement, approaches and programmes relevant to all aspects in improving the plan such as task implementation and service delivery,” she said.

She also emphasised that an anti-corruption programme will not guarantee that there will be no  corruption but it could assist in prevention and detection.

“In addition, in the event of possible prosecution of the organisation or its personnel, such a programme could provide important evidence that the organisation had taken reasonable steps to prevent corruption. This may help to avoid or mitigate criminal liability,” she added.

Meanwhile, Latheefa said the importance of designing a business integrity and anti-corruption programme must be based on risk assessment.

She noted that risk assessment should be the base of a pyramid-shaped programme, headed by ‘tone from the top’ while company anti-corruption policies cannot be downloaded, cut and pasted.

“They needed to be tailored to the risks of the business and the consequences of not complying. The MACC will not be effective in its enforcement efforts unless we work together with the private sector and address these challenges head-on.

“To me, the end objective is crystal clear: fighting corruption is the key to building trust in government and it is also an essential ingredient for robust and sustainable economic growth,” she said.

Earlier, Mohammad Azlan said that launch of the two plans were preparation for the implementation of Section 17A of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009 in June 2020. – Bernama