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Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Efforts On The Table At IACC

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KUALA LUMPUR – The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will host the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) from Sept 2–4 in Putrajaya.

Held in collaboration with Transparency International, the 3-day conference carries the theme ‘Ending Impunity: People, Integrity, Action’ and aims to support, empower and engage people from a broad spectrum of society in over 130 countries to stand up against corruption.

Its objectives are to showcase game-changing anti-corruption solutions and the people behind them, engage new audiences in the fight against corruption, and promote a culture of integrity in all sectors of society to achieve sustained positive change.

People in the public and private sectors, civil society, and youth organisations will converge to look for ways to strengthen anti-corruption measures, enhance transparency and accountability, and put an end to impunity from corruption by bringing the corrupt to face the full measure of the law.

“More than 2,000 anti-corruption fighters will meet and take stock of where we are in the global war against corruption and were we need to be,” Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Senator Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuan said to Bernama.

Participants will share best practices and discuss the latest developments in initiatives and tools to resolve corruption.

SHARING BEST PRACTICES

As host, the MACC will bring to the table Malaysia’s achievements and success in fighting corruption.

Malaysia has put in place regulations and processes, which have been assessed as compliant with global standards.

Malaysia’s anti-corruption initiatives under the Government Transformation Programme have received positive reviews from the United Nations Office against Drugs and Corruption (UNODC).

On Feb 7, 2014, the UNODC released its review findings on Malaysia’s compliance with recommendations made in the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. The report listed 23 good practices in fighting corruption in Malaysia– the highest number out of 168 countries reviewed.

To promote good governance and integrity in the civil service, the Government has established 800 integrity units spread across every government ministry, agency and government-linked corporations (GLCs).

Each integrity unit is helmed by a Certified Integrity Officer (CeIO) trained at the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Academy. These CeIOs will carry out the necessary restructuring programme to enhance governance and integrity in their particular ministry, agency or GLC.

Low chairs the national level Governance and Integrity Committee or JITU, and reports matters concerning governance and integrity to the cabinet.

‘BAPTISM OF FIRE’

However, despite these achievements, recent developments in the country have placed Malaysia – particularly the MACC – in the cross hair of the international community especially Transparency International.

The country faces an unprecedented test of its governance at the highest level.

Key regulatory and enforcement officials have either been abruptly transferred or promoted away, putting investigations to a halt. An inter-agency task force in the thick of investigating financial irregularities was disbanded.

The investigators are being investigated. Consequently, this has cast a pall on the independence of the institutions concerned.

Low, the former Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) president, said the MACC is undergoing its baptism of fire and conference participants would no doubt be interested in how the MACC would go about its ways given the present circumstances.

“We have to learn and understand what happened, why it happened, what the consequences are, and how to prevent them in future,” Low said.

The test that lies before regulators and enforcement agencies, especially the MACC, is to what extent they are able to maintain law and order, uphold integrity, and do what is right and necessary according to the mandate given to them, he said. – BERNAMA

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