KUALA LUMPUR, May 13 — Civil servants who did not alert the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) of bribery attempts could face prosecution for the first-time ever under existing laws.
MACC deputy chief commissioner (prevention) Datuk Shamsun Baharin Mohd Jamil said the anti-graft body had to start using these laws to compel civil servants to report on bribery and power abuses.
“To my knowledge, the commission had never used provisions under Section 25(1) and (2) of the MACC Act to charge those who fail to report bribery attempts.
“But, under the Anti-Corruption Revolution Movement (Gerah) we launched recently, we will leverage on all available laws against corruption,” he was quoted telling local daily New Straits Times (NST).
He reportedly cited MACC data where only around 0.0001 per cent of Malaysia’s 1.6 million civil servants had lodged reports on corruption during the 2011-2016 period, which he said was low as the federal government was willing to offer a ringgit-for-ringgit incentive for such reports.
According to the NST, the MACC is aware that civil servants who do not take bribes have in some instances turned a blind eye on their colleagues’ corruption instead of lodging reports.
Section 25(1) requires anyone offered, given or promised a bribe to report it to the MACC or the police along with the name of the person if known, with failure to do so punishable under Section 25(2) with maximum RM100,000 fine or maximum 10-year jail or both.
Shamsun Baharin said Section 25 could also be used against the public who do not report on instances when they are asked to pay bribes.
“Civil servants and the public should not worry about coming forward as they will be protected under the Witness Protection Act and Whistleblower Protection Act.
“Just come to us and lodge a report. We will initiate investigation and collect evidence to make the case,” he was quoted saying, adding that it would be hard for the MACC to fight corruption without cooperation from witnesses.
In March, the MACC revealed that almost half of civil servants arrested for corruption are below the age of 40.
Shamsun Baharin had then reportedly said that such workers took bribes to enjoy a lavish lifestyle.