24 October, 2010


I refer to the announcement by Malaysia Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) today that they have completed their investigation on the Auditor General’s Report for year 2008(announced last year). According to MACC, they have initiated more than 20 investigation papers and 5 inspection and consultation papers.

According to the MACC, 3 people have been accused in court, 4 MACC reports have been handed over to department heads with proposed disciplinary actions against officers involved and 5 letters of advice to relevant government departments. It also included 5 proposed reviews to systems and procedures to reduce opportunities for corruption or fraud.

Source: http://www.sprm.gov.my/

With due respect to MACC, the penalties for offences involving corruption had been defined under the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission Act 2009 (“MACC Act”). Under Section 24 of the MACC Act:-

“Any person who commits an offence under the Act shall on conviction be liable to:-
(a) imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty years; and
(b) a fine of not less than five times the sum or value of the gratification which is the subject matter of the offence, where such gratification is capable of being valued or is of a pecuniary nature, or ten thousand ringgit, whichever is the higher.”

Clearly, there is no provision in MACC Act for a mere disciplinary action by any government department heads against any government officers for suspected corruption offences. If any civil servant is suspected for corruption offence, MACC should charge them in court for such offence.

In any event, every person accused of corruption should also have the right to be heard in the court of law.

As such, a person should only be convicted for corruption by the court of law and the appropriate penalties should only be decided by such court of law (and not by any government department heads).

MACC should avoid setting any precedent to allow government department heads to decide penalties for suspected corruption offences involving civil servants and to substitute the judiciary with government department heads.

Hence, I would like to call upon MACC to immediately clarify and rectify this matter.