KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 – The government’s withdrawal of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) integrity officers at government agencies will not affect graft prevention efforts, MACC said today.
The MACC clarified that the reported replacement of its Certified Integrity Officers (CeIOs) with Administration and Diplomatic Service (PTD) officers seconded at the integrity units of government agencies was a move “in line with the government’s decision to set up the National Integrity and Good Governance Department (JITN) recently”.
“The MACC wishes to stress that the formation of JITN will not affect at all the MACC’s function and responsibility in efforts to ensure government agencies are free from abuse, bribery and abuse of power,” it said in a statement today.
“Therefore, with this change, MACC has created special monitoring units to monitor issues of abuse, bribery and abuse of power at high-risk, mid-risk and low-risk government agencies,” it said, adding that it will continue its preventive function under the MACC Act to ensure the administration of government agencies is corruption-free.
Earlier today, local daily New Straits Times (NST) reported that 47 of MACC’s CeIOs were recently removed from ministries and government agencies.
The NST cited sources when reporting that these government agencies will now have internal staff to monitor integrity and prevent corruption, with these officers to report to the head of their own organisation.
The NST contrasted this with the MACC CeIOs who report directly to the MACC headquarters and are on the commission’s payroll, citing an unnamed source which said these officers help ease the process of gathering and sharing information with the MACC.
Citing sources, the newspaper also said the MACC CeIOs had created a fear factor in those with corrupt tendencies due to their independent operations in government agencies, saying that they had recorded 4,000 complaints and pursued 1,600 of these cases that were categorised to be misconduct cases during a five-year period.
The newspaper said the PTD officers had detected and verified 683 misconduct cases during the same timeframe.
Last September, minister Datuk Paul Low told Malay Mail that JITN would not cost much to operate and would not overlap with MACC’s functions, also stressing that JITN was not formed to control MACC.