MACC gains in graft war


REPORT: the commission nabbed more than 900 for bribery last year

PUTRAJAYA: A WHOPPING RM66 million worth of properties, including bungalows and luxury cars, had been seized by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in its war against graft over the past two years.

Last year alone, more than 900 individuals were arrested for giving and receiving bribes.

Going full throttle in arresting the scourge, the MACC has come up with strong recommendations to the government, including blacklisting or suspending the operations of companies known to have engaged in corrupt practices.

These include their corrupt dealings in securing services and supplies as well as development contracts from government agencies and government-linked companies.

The commission, in its report which had been forwarded to Parliament in June for deliberation, said this proposal was one way to prevent corruption in the future.

The 168-page document reported that the MACC, which had adopted the outcomebased investigations approach, opened 1,304 investigation papers from the 6,475 reports it received last year. Of this, 967, including several high-profile cases, were completed within the same year and 263 people were hauled to court to face corruption charges.

From convictions it secured last year, the commission had also slapped offenders with close to RM11 million in fines.

The public made up the biggest number of those hit with corruption charges with 141 offenders (53.6 per cent), with civil servants Following losses amounting to RM266 million (from 2006 to 2010) because of discrepancies involving the total of 5.32 billion litres of subsidised diesel supplied to fishermen by the Fisheries Development Authority (LKIM), MACC drew up a 10-point system for the LKIM to abide by.

The commission also pointed out that the government had lost RM2.2 billion in revenue collected by the Customs Department due to under declaration, misappropriation and manipulation that allowed companies to "escape" taxes.
This, it said, was made worse with "some Customs officers conspiring to allow this to happen".

A major swoop on these wayward officers, some of whom were high-ranking personnel, had contributed to the success of the second biggest income earner for the country to increase its revenue by RM2.1 billion to RM30.4 billion last year, a record achievement despite the government having slashed import duties on a slew of goods.

Last year also saw the Inland Revenue Board hitting a new collection record of RM109 billion from RM86 billion in 2010.

The report also listed checks and consultations it had done on government departments and agencies. This include their weaknesses that could allow room for corruption and abuse of power.

Among those mentioned in the report were the Immigration Department for its issuance of "special passes" to foreigners to have their stay extended, Puspakom Sdn Bhd for its tinted screen checking system as well as the Kuala Lumpur City Hall for its enforcement against cyber cafes under its jurisdiction.

In pointing out flaws and weaknesses in their systems as well as ways to arrest them, a total of 94 agencies and departments had the attention of the graft busters.



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