‘ Can’t ab­solve sus­pect who re­turns bribe’

> No pro­vi­sion un­der the MACC Act: Low

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS - BY HAIKAL JALIL AND AMAR SHAH MOHSEN

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian An­ti­Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (MACC) will not clear a per­son in­volved in cor­rupt prac­tice even if the bribe is re­turned to its source.

Min­is­ter in the Prime Min­is­ter’s Depart­ment Datuk Paul Low said there is no pro­vi­sion un­der the Malaysian An­ti­Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion Act 2009 that al­lowed for such clear­ance of those who have ac­cepted bribes.

“With ref­er­ence to the MACC Act, there does not ex­ist a pro­vi­sion which states that if bribe money is re­turned to the one giv­ing it, the per­son who re­ceived it could be cleared from cor­rup­tion charges,” he said.

Low, who is the min­is­ter in charge of in­tegrity, said this in a writ­ten re­ply to Idris Ah­mad (PAS-Bukit Gan­tang).

Idris had asked whether there is a law be­ing used by MACC to clear a per­son of cor­rup­tion if he re­turns the bribe amount.

Low said MACC is granted power un­der the act to seize both move­able and im­mov­able as­sets of those who are un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion for cor­rup­tion.

“The seizure of bribe money and as­sets is made un­der Sec­tions 33, 37 and 38 of the MACC Act.

“After the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is con­cluded, MACC will sub­mit the in­ves­ti­ga­tion pa­pers to the deputy pub­lic pros­e­cu­tor for a de­ci­sion,” he said.

“If it can be proven that the seized money and as­sets were re­ceived from cor­rupt prac­tices, as­set for­fei­ture ac­tion will be taken,” he added.

Low said the seized as­sets would be re­turned to the per­son if graft could not be es­tab­lished.

He also said MACC has seized as­sets worth more than RM170 mil­lion from gov­ern­ment and gov­ern­ment-linked cor­po­ra­tion (GLC) of­fi­cers.

These as­sets were seized from of­fi­cers in­volved in cor­rup­tion and money laun­der­ing ac­tiv­i­ties be­tween 2014 and Septem­ber this year.

He said in 2014 alone, a to­tal of RM113.45 mil­lion in as­sets linked to cor­rup­tion were seized and frozen by MACC.

“Last year, the amount was RM30.78 mil­lion while un­til Septem­ber this year, the sum seized and frozen amounts to RM27.55 mil­lion,” he said in a writ­ten re­ply.

He was re­spond­ing to a ques­tion by Tan Kok Wai (DAP-Cheras) who asked the gov­ern­ment to state the num­ber of gov­ern­ment and GLC of­fi­cers de­tained by MACC for cor­rup­tion of­fences.

Low said a to­tal of 1,307 of­fi­cers were de­tained by MACC for cor­rup­tion and money laun­der­ing dur­ing the same pe­riod of time.

He said 227 of­fi­cers were de­tained in 2014, while an­other 405 were de­tained the fol­low­ing year.

“For the pe­riod be­tween Jan­uary and Septem­ber this year, a to­tal of 388 civil ser­vants and 17 GLC staff were de­tained,” he added.

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