Malaysia most corrupt country? But we have anti-bribery tools, says Pemandu

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Putrajaya’s efficiency unit has stepped in to defend its role in fighting graft, following a recent survey finding that Malaysia is among the most corrupt countries in the world.

Pemandu, or the Performance Management and Delivery Unit, said the government has implemented tools to combat corruption in the business landscape, including a number of anti-bribery and anti-corruption tools – or ABAC – over the past three years.

“Pemandu’s Anti-Corruption National Key Results Area has implemented these over the course of the past three years under the first horizon of the Government Transformation Programme as part of a holistic plan to create an ecosystem with the requisite tools for Malaysians to use to combat corruption.

“Plans are underway to step up and strengthen these measures under the GTP’s second horizon," Pemandu said in a statement.

It was responding to the recently released Asia-Pacific Fraud Survey Report Series 2013, in which Malaysia is placed among the countries with the highest levels of bribery and corruption in the world. It also lists Malaysia as among the countries most likely to take shortcuts to meet targets when the economy takes a downturn.

According to Pemandu, various initiatives have been put in place with the cooperation of different anti-graft agencies, including the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Malaysian Institute of Integrity, it added.

“Among the initiatives implemented was the Corporate Integrity Pledge (CIP), which was implemented in 2011 to solicit greater participation and cooperation from the private sector in the fight against corruption. CIP was made mandatory for all companies associated with Entry Points Projects under the ETP to sign the CIP.

“To date, 250 companies have signed the CIP and are thereby obligated to tighten their corporate governance policies incompliance with it,” said Pemandu, which comes under the Prime Minister's Department.

When Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the six national key result areas, “reducing corruption” was one of the most important. He has taken pains to convince Malaysians and foreigners on the efforts and successes in the key performance indicators (KPIs) of the NKRA. Last week, he again pledged to banish corruption.

Pemandu said that there are now plans to introduce a provision on corporate liability into the MACC Act, making companies liable for corrupt acts of their employees. This, it argued, will ensure companies to be more pro-active about implementing anti-corruption measures.

The survey by Ernst & Young polled 681 executives in China, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and South Korea. Half of them felt that China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam were the worst in bribery and corruption.

But Pemandu pointed out that 55% of those polled were satisfied with the companies’ ABAC policy, although they felt it was not enforced effectively.

“In order to strengthen anti‐corruption measures in the private sector, the Anti‐Corruption NKRA will continue with its work on the Corporate Integrity System Malaysia to encourage more companies to sign the CIP as a tool to develop their own anti-corruption programme,” it said.

This support, said Pemandu, ranges from provision of training to pledges to enhance corporate governance within organisations.

"As well as that, under GTP 2.0, it will be made compulsory for all Public Private Partnership projects to sign the Ministry of Finance’s Integrity Pact,” it added. – September 29, 2013.

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