MACCTONAB THOSE WHO DON’T RE­PORT

We will use pow­ers un­der two pro­vi­sions of MACC Act, says agency’s deputy chief

New Straits Times - - News - HARIZ MOHD PETALING JAYA harizm@nst.com.my

CIVIL ser­vants who re­ject bribes but chose to close an eye to them will face a law that has never been used be­fore. The Malaysian Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (MACC) is im­pelled to un­leash Sec­tion 25(1) and (2) of the MACC Act 2009 as their mission to keep cor­rup­tion out of the pub­lic de­liv­ery sys­tem has been ham­pered by their ap­a­thy to­wards the war against graft.

It has not slipped the com­mis­sion that there are cases where they know of in­dis­cre­tions by col­leagues, but choose to turn the other away.

These le­gal clauses will legally crim­i­nalise those who fail to re­port on the crime when they see or know of any. If found guilty, they could be li­able for a fine of up to RM100,000 or a max­i­mum jail sen­tence of 10 years, or both.

MACC chief com­mis­sioner Datuk Dzulk­i­fli Ah­mad re­cently re­vealed that civil ser­vants in­volved in en­force­ment were among the ma­jor cul­prits for com­pro­mises in the de­liv­ery sys­tem and that if they said “no to graft, a host of prob­lems the coun­try has been see­ing will be re­solved”.

Dzulk­i­fli’s deputy, Datuk Shamsun Baharin Mohd Jamil, who is in charge of pre­ven­tion ini­tia­tives, said the com­mis­sion’s records showed that only about 0.0001 per cent of the 1.6 mil­lion civil ser­vants had come for­ward to re­port cor­rup­tion be­tween 2011 and last year.

The num­ber, he said, was in­cred­i­bly low, con­sid­er­ing that the gov­ern­ment was ready to of­fer them ring­git-for-ring­git in­cen­tives for re­port­ing bribery and cor­rup­tion.

The is­sue, com­pounded by the low take up rate, he said, was why the com­mis­sion had to re­sort to the piece of leg­is­la­tion to force them to re­port cor­rup­tion and abuse of power around them.

“To my knowl­edge, the com­mis­sion had never used pro­vi­sions un­der Sec­tion 25(1) and (2) of the MACC Act to charge those who fail to re­port bribery at­tempts.

“But, un­der the Anti-Cor­rup­tion Rev­o­lu­tion Move­ment (Gerah) we launched re­cently, we will lever­age on all avail­able laws against cor­rup­tion.

“Like what Dzulk­i­fli said, our aim is to change the mind­set of the peo­ple and make them say no to cor­rup­tion,” he told the New Straits Times.

Sec­tion 25(1) of the act stip­u­lates that any­one who is of­fered or given grat­i­fi­ca­tion shall re­port the ac­tion, and if avail­able, name the per­son who gave or made the of­fer to po­lice or MACC.

Sec­tion 25(2) serves to make the of­fence pun­ish­able with the fine and jail term.

Shamsun said Sec­tion 25 could also be ap­plied against mem­bers of the pub­lic who fail to re­port bribe so­licited from them.

“Civil ser­vants and the pub­lic should not worry about com­ing for­ward as they will be pro­tected un­der the Wit­ness Pro­tec­tion Act and Whistle­blower Pro­tec­tion Act.

“Just come to us and lodge a re­port. We will ini­ti­ate in­ves­ti­ga­tion and col­lect ev­i­dence to make the case.

“Co­op­er­a­tion from wit­nesses is im­por­tant to MACC, as with­out it, it is a hard fight against cor­rup­tion,” he said.

NST had re­ported that MACC had set a three-year dead­line for Malaysia to move high up the Cor­rup­tion Per­cep­tions In­dex.

Dzulk­i­fli was re­ported as say­ing that the aim to stem cor­rupt norms in so­ci­ety be­gan with pub­lic of­fice hold­ers and civil ser­vice, adding that Gerah meant “putting the heat on the cor­rupt”.

Co­op­er­a­tion from wit­nesses is im­por­tant to MACC, as with­out it, it is a hard fight against cor­rup­tion. DATUK SHAMSUN BAHARIN MOHD JAMIL MACC deputy chief com­mis­sioner

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