MACC chief: Covid-19 has seen rise in large-scale corruption involving criminal syndicates, civil servants

MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki gives a speech during a Transparency International forum at the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur September 15, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki gives a speech during a Transparency International forum at the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur September 15, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said today it has detected a rise in large-scale corruption involving criminal syndicates and cartels including civil servants since the Covid-19 pandemic struck the country about a year ago.

MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki said the increase is believed to be linked to the economic downturn due to the pandemic which pushed many people into desperate circumstances.

“The Covid-19 era can be said to be the trend of large-scale cases which have started to increase, especially those involving criminal syndicates and cartels that have mushroomed.

"In the past, it may have happened, but now it is exposed because many may not be able to earn a living (leading to an increase in corruption activities), so they are exposed to the MACC.

“Among the cases include the government tender cartel, immigration system hacking and the arrests of civil servants involved in corruption  within ‘gangs’,” he was quoted as saying by Berita Harian in a TV3 interview.

Explaining further, Azam confessed that the value system among government officials is slowly diminishing when they prioritise material things rather than the passion to serve the people and the country.

He said Malaysia has a good governance system in place but is betrayed and corrupted by a handful of civil servants lacking integrity.

“Our governance system has gone through many changes and transformations but a good system will not go anywhere if the officials who implement the system are lacking in integrity.

“It is time for the government to make huge investments to increase human capital or the integrity of government officials before it is too late because they are the backbone of the country,” he said.

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