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What is MACC and how MACC was established?

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission or MACC, is an independent and sole body that manages cases related to corruption as well as a front runner in anti-corruption initiatives in Malaysia. The MACC was established in January 2009, replacing its predecessor – the Anti Corruption Agency (ACA) in accordance to the newly enacted Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act 2009. The role of the MACC is to eradicate corruption, abuse of power and malpractice in Malaysia with its functions deeply rooted to the principles of being Independent, Transparent and Professional in fulfilling its duties.

What is corruption?

Corruption is the act of giving or receiving of any gratification or reward in the form of cash or in-kind of high value for performing a task in relation to his/her job description. An example, a contractor rewards a gift in the form of an expensive watch to a Government official for awarding a project to the company belonging to the contractor.

Types of Offences of Corruption According to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act 2009 (MACC Act 2009)?

There are four (4) main offences stipulated in the MACC Act 2009 (Act 694) which are as follows:
  1. Soliciting/Receiving Gratification (Bribe) [section 16 & 17(a) MACC Act 2009]
  2. Offering/Giving Gratification (Bribe) [section 17(b) MACC Act 2009]
  3. Intending to Deceive (False Claim) [Section 18 MACC Act 2009]
  4. Using Office or Position for Gratification (Bribe) (Abuse of Power/Position) [Section 23 MACC Act 2009]

What are the offences of Requesting/Receiving Gratification (Bribe)/Requesting/Receiving Gratification (Bribe)?[section 16 & 17(a) MACC Act 2009]

Any person or agent soliciting/receiving any form of gratification/bribe as an inducement for performing/not performing a task. Example: Baharudin bin Ahmad, YDP of Kangar Municipal Council, was accused of soliciting and receiving a bribe from a contractor of a housing development project spanning apprximately 10 acres in Padang Besar, Perlis. In return, he promised to approve as well as ensure a smooth running of the project. The bribe received from the contractor was in the form of RM30,000 in-cash, RM30,000 in-cheque (cash cheque) and a Mizuno golf set worth RM2,500. The courts handed down a sentence of 4 years imprisonment and a fine of RM1.925 million.

What is the offence of Offering/Giving Bribe?

Any person or agent offering/giving any form of gratification/bribe as an inducement for performing/not performing a task in relation to the official duty of a civil service officer. Example: Sibu – A contractor was sentenced to 8 months imprisonment and fined RM25,000 for giving a bribe of RM1,500 to one Sandum Hitam, a Forestry Management Officer. The bribe was to expedite the application procees for the ‘Permit to Enter Coupe’. The offence took place at the Sibu District Forestry Office.

What is the offence of providing false claims (Section 18, MACC Act 2009)

Any person providing documents such as receipts / invoices that are false or contains false details with the intention to deceive the principle (office).

Example: SHAH ALAM – Datuk Md. Saberi Md., ex-Dean of the Faculty of Sports Science and Recreation of Mara Technology University (UiTM), was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment and fined RM10,000 bythe Sessions Court on the count of acknowledging a false invoice for the supply of sports equipments worth RM138,600 in 1999.

Md. Saberi was accused of acknowledging receipt of Multi Joint 2 AP, worth RM138,600,  in good condition on 24 March 1999 which was not delivered in reality.  

The Judge also sentenced the same on the owner of the sports equipment supplier, one Zaleha Abdul Rahman aged 48 years, for the offence of colluding in producing the said invoice.

What is the offence of Abuse of Power? (Section 23, MACC Act 2009)

The abuse of power takes place when a person who is a member of a public or government body uses his position or the office in making a decision or taking action for the benefit of himself, his relative or associate.

What is the penalty for corruption related offences?

The general penalty for any corruption related offences is:-
  1.      Maximum 20 years imprisonment; and
  2.      A minimum fine of RM10,000 or 5 times the value of the bribe (whichever is higher)    

Example:

If ‘A’ receives a bribe amounting to RM5,000, therefore, the penalty will be imprisonment and a fine of RM25,000 (RM5,000 x %).

If ‘B’ receives a bribe amounting to RM1,000, therefore, ‘B’ will be sentenced to an imprisonment term and fined RM10,000 (the minimum fine takes precedence as the penalty charge on the value of the bribe amounts to less than RM10,000 i.e. RM1000 x 5 = RM5,000)

Is bribery only in the form of monetary cash?

No. Bribery can also take shape in the form of gifts in-kind, discount offers, votes, services (including sex), job position/placement, loan and many other forms of payment for payments and purchases.

The tender selection process requires the declaration of any person of a selecting committee who has a direct/indirect interest in the project or is linked to any tender, is required to declare his interest/link and to exclude himself from the selection

Yes. The principle of declaring and exclusion of any person from the selection process /committee of any tender or quotation that has a direct/indirect interest/link with any tender/quotation submitted for a project/purchase and to allow the decision process to be conducted by a completely neutral committee.

What is the main cause of public service officers accepting a bribe? Is it due to low income levels or otherwise?

Based on a research conducted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on the cause of corruption among public service officers, low levels of income is not the main reason for public services officers to engage in acts of corruption.  The study revealed that the following were the main reasons for public service officers engaging in acts of corruption:-
  1. Lifestyle beyond their means,
  2. Attitude of Greed,
  3. Conducive opportunities in engaging in acts of corruption,
  4. Low levels of integrity among the officers.
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