Realising the need to forge stronger rapport with the international community, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) hopes to encourage foreign ambassadors’ involvement in anti-graft activities, seminar, talks and gatherings, as well as to gain their confidence in its commitment to ensure a graft free business environment.
To realize this aim, MACC Chief Commissioner Dato’ Sri Abu Kassim bin Mohamed today hosted a luncheon talk cum dialogue session with embassies under the European Union (EU) for the very first time to brief the foreign diplomats on the Commission’s efforts to eradicate corruption in order to create a business friendly environment for all.
European Union Head of Delegation to Malaysia H.E. Vincent Piket, its Secretary Eszter Nemeth and also ambassadors of the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Slovak Republic, Italy, Finland, Belgium, Romania, Netherlands, Sweden, France, Spain, Denmark, Ireland and Poland were present.
Describing dialogue sessions with foreign ambassadors as “useful”, Dato’ Sri Abu Kassim said that it is important to “reduce red-tape and bureaucracy to ensure a more accommodating business-friendly environment for foreign investors”.
“MACC from time to time scrutinizes system and procedures of government agencies that are dealing with foreign investors to curb corrupt practices in order to create a corruption-free business environment,” he added.
Representing the EU delegates, Mr. Piket pledged his support to aid the Commission in combating corruption and called on officers of the Commission to “engage us further to fight graft”.
“Let us help you to carry out your mandate effectively,” he said, speaking on behalf of the EU community.
Stressing that the establishment of the Commission is based on accountability, transparency and professionalism, Dato’ Sri Abu Kassim noted that the anti-graft body is monitored closely by 5 committees, which are watchdogs representing the public.
“They consist of the ‘Anti-Corruption Advisory Board’, ‘Special Committee on Corruption’, ‘Complaints Committee’, ‘Operation Review Panel’ and “Corruption Consultation and Prevention Panel’,” he said.
MACC aims to seek the assistance of ambassadors to disseminate anti-corruption messages to foreign business communities in Malaysia as well as potential business investments.
Foreign embassies can play a vital role by organising dialogue sessions, talks or seminars on anti-corruption measures, with the Commission as part of the panelist or speaker.
Moreover, ambassadors should also be roped in as key communicators for MACC to spread anti-graft messages and to pass positive remarks on anti-corruption efforts here to the EU communities.
To stem corrupt acts, ambassadors from EU should encourage foreign business communities to report to MACC any corrupt demands.
Dato’ Sri Abu Kassim also disclosed that the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Academy (MACA) in Kuala Lumpur will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) based in Vienna next month to expand its training programmes to the region.
“We welcome your law enforcement agents to work with us as there is no language barrier for them,” he told the ambassadors.
Section 22 of the MACC Act 2009 regarding bribery of foreign public officials is in compliance to Article 16 of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), whereby state parties to UNCAC are encouraged to criminalize act regarding bribery of foreign public officials.
The anti-graft body has also complied with all 71 Articles in UNCAC, with the adherence to the recent and final Article that is the Whistle Blowers Protection Act, whereby Parliament has already passed the bill.
Urging foreign communities in Malaysia to report corrupt acts, Dato’ Sri Abu Kassim gave an assurance that identities of the complainants will be protected.
Although the Commission has one of the best legislation and legal framework in the world, that would amount to nothing without co-operation from the public, even more so, if witnesses turn hostile.