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PUTRAJAYA: Ministers, menteris besar, deputy ministers and political secretaries will be required to declare bids by their family members for government projects or facilities.
Under the new Administrative Code of Ethics drawn up by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, members of the administration will have to sit out of committees which decide on projects and facilities, such as soft loans, involving family members.
The failure to declare bids and the award of projects and facilities provides strong grounds for the commission to initiate investigations into abuse of power, said deputy chief director (prevention) Datuk Sutinah Sutan.
She said the move would promote transparency and avoid negative perception on the awarding of government projects or facilities.
She added that the cabinet should also be made aware of declarations made by ministers. She said there was no provision disallowing family members of the administration from receiving any government projects and facilities.
MACC’s definition of family members include, among others, parents, children, in-laws, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins.
The new Code of Ethics is part of seven proposals made to various quarters, including government agencies, to improve transparency in systems and procedures.
The MACC has the authority to make recommendations to plug loopholes in the system, as provided for under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act 2009.
Those on the receiving end, are obliged to take heed of the commission's advice.
As a result of weakness unearthed in the National Feedlot Corporation issue, the MACC also made recommendations to the Finance Ministry to draw up a clear and standard procedure on the disbursement of soft loans to prevent abuse.
Sutinah said the commission would also advise the MoF to make it compulsory for applicants to declare if they had ties with any member of the administration when they applied for projects or facilities.
This, she added, could also minimise the likelihood of those probed for abuse of power or corruption, from pleading ignorance if there was a case against them.
Other recommendations included one to the Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry, for it to conduct due diligence on companies to ascertain their capabilities, before awarding projects.
Initial and risk assessments of projects must also be carried out to avoid future problems.
For companies handling government projects, she said the role and responsibility of each Board of Director must be spelt out clearly, so that they could function optimally.
Terms of loans, she added, must also be tightened to enhance accountability and prevent corruption, misappropriation and abuse of power.