Implementing & Monitoring
It has been just a year since the official enforcement of Section 17A under Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (“MACC”) Act 2009 (amended 2018) (the “Act”). On March 18, 2021, MACC made its first move to charge a company under Section 17A of the said Act since its enforcement in June 2020. The new corporate liability provision with the effect imposes “deemed offense” clause on commercial organization for the act of bribery of its “associated persons” which includes its employees, management, directors, and persons who perform service for or on behalf of the said commercial organization.
As reported in the media, Pristine Offshore Sdn Bhd was charged under Section 17A of the Act after MACC found its former director had allegedly given a bribe of RM321,350 as remuneration to secure a sub-contract for the company (between June 29, 2020 and October 14, 2020). If a conviction is executed, the company will be facing a fine of not less than 10 times of the gratification amount or RM1,000,000, whichever is higher. Moreover, the provision on Section 17A also carries an imprisonment term of up to 20 years for the Directors and officers involved.
In addition, Bursa Malaysia, through the revised Malaysian Code on Corporate Governance 2021, had also emphasized on the need to evaluate the internal control effectiveness concerning anti-corruption, whistle-blowing, and governance processes.
THE NEXT STEPS?
While the Anti-Bribery & Anti-Corruption (“ABAC”) framework should ideally be up and ready for roll-out, the real question that lies ahead is how effectively a commercial organization raises its defense against bribery and corruption. The essential ‘Next Steps’ are on training & communication initiatives, setting up the compliance monitoring program and continuous monitoring & improvement.
For more information, please contact our Tricor Axcelasia team:
Senior Executive Director
(60) 3 2783 8459
(60) 3 2783 8438