Have you done enough to prevent bribery and corruption?

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act was amended in 2018 to introduce corporate liability for corruption offences, which applies to Malaysian commercial organisations.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (Amendment) Act 2018 in essence:

A commercial organisation commits an offence if any person associated with the commercial organisation commits a corrupt act in order to obtain or retain business or advantage for the commercial organisation.

 

The silver lining

If charged, it is a defence for the commercial organisation to prove that it had in place adequate procedures to prevent persons associated with the commercial organisation from undertaking such conduct.

This is why it is critical for corporates to have the appropriate systems in place in order to prevent such offences from occuring.

Who is liable?

  • Director;
  • Controller;
  • Officer;
  • Partner; or
  • A person concerned in the management of the organisation's affairs.

The implications:

  1. A maximum fine of 10 times the sum of gratification involved, or RM1 million, whichever is higher;
  2. A maximum jail term of 20 years; or
  3. Both penalties of the fine and jail term.

Source: Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (Amendment) Act 2018

 

Will you be able to defend yourself?

The provision of corporate liability in the newly amended MACC Act 2018 is similar to the UK Anti-Bribery Act 2010.

Since enforcement of the Act in the UK, a few highly reputable corporates have been prosecuted as they failed to prove that adequate procedures were put in place to detect, prevent and respond to bribery and corruption cases. Aside from hefty fines and penalties, these corporates may even suffer reputational damage.

 

Responding to the Act

The Amendment aims to elevate Malaysia’s standing as a world-class player in combating bribery and corruption. To minimise risks, it is therefore important for organisations to ensure they have "adequate procedures" in place.

 

Contact us

Elaine Ng

Elaine Ng

Financial Services and Risk Assurance Services Leader, PwC Malaysia

Tel: +6012 334 6243

Dominic Chegne

Dominic Chegne

Risk Assurance Services Partner, PwC Malaysia

Tel: +60 (12) 332 2300

Nik Shahrizal Sulaiman

Nik Shahrizal Sulaiman

Risk Assurance Partner, PwC Malaysia

Tel: +60 (3) 2173 1726

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