The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Director of Investigations Haji Mustafar Bin Haji Ali today clarified that a statement made by a news agency – quoting Cuepacs president Omar Osman – that 41 per cent of the 1.2 million civil servants in the country were suspected to be involved in graft last year was erroneous. He stressed that it is important to obtain facts and figures from the proper authorities before releasing it for publication in the media.
However, the Investigations chief revealed that there is a sharp decline on the arrest of civil servants compared to those in the private sectors over the past three years as government officials are now more ready to lodge a report against bribe-givers.
“I would like to thank the government agencies for taking action and working alongside us in combating corruption,” he told reporters in a press conference this afternoon.
He added that currently the arrests of offenders from the private sectors and the public have increased.
“In 2007, 303 civil servants were arrested; there were 282 arrested in 2008 and 194 this year. For members of the public and those in the private sectors, 228 were arrested in 2007, 323 in 2008 and 306 last year.
“As of May 31 this year, 139 civil servants were arrested while 185 from the private sectors were detained,” he said.
Government officials, especially those in the enforcement agencies such as the Police and the Road Transport Department (JPJ), are more aware of corrupt acts and have played a major role in the arrests of the offenders amounting to RM 272,950,00.
He also disclosed that there is a significant number of foreigners arrested by the Commission this year for corruption.
“Among them are 7 Singaporeans who were arrested at Johor for trying to buy their way through traffic offences by offering bribes.
Others are from Pakistan, India, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia, he said.
As of 31st May 2010, a total of 109 bribe-givers were arrested with 35 cases in relation to traffic offences, 28 due to working permits and passports, 13 for drug offences, 7 to close criminal cases, 6 each to resolve theft cases, illegal logging and to release impounded vehicles, 4 to expedite paperwork, 3 to obtain business permits and one relating to the sale of DVD/ VCD/ CD.
Under Section 17(b) of the MACC Act 2009, a person who ‘corruptly gives or agrees to give or offers any gratification to any agent as an inducement or a reward for doing or forbearing to do, or for having done or forborne to do any act in relation to his principal’s affairs or business, or for showing or forbearing to show favour or disfavour to any person in relation to his principal’s affairs or business’ commits an offence.
The wrong-doer shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty years and a fine of not less than five times the sum or value of the gratification.
The Commission chief advised all civil servants to report any corrupt acts in line with Section 25(1) of the MACC Act 2009 which states that:
‘Any person to whom any gratification is given, promised, or offered, in contravention to any provision of this Act shall report such gift, promise or offer together with the name, if known, of the person who gave, promised or offered such gratification to him to the nearest officer of the Commission or police officer’.
Efforts by civil servants to report all corrupt acts will surely enhance the image of the public service in this country. Likewise, it will boost public confidence towards the government delivery system and this will help to increase Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).