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Don't backtrack on MACC Act: FMM

FMM In The News: NEW STRAITS TIMES, KUALA LUMPUR, Thursday, May 7, 2020 - The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has urged the government not to backtrack on the implementation of Section 17A of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (Amendment) Act 201.

The act, which provides strict corporate liability on commercial organisations for the failure to prevent corruption, is due to come into force on June 1 after the law was passed in Parliament on April 5, 2018 and gazetted on May 5, 2018.

FMM president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said there had been calls for the implementation date to be pushed back by a year to June 1, 2021 in view of the Covid-19 pandemic which has affected businesses.

"It is acknowledged that the Covid-19 pandemic might have delayed some of the initiatives that were being undertaken by companies to put in place a robust compliance programme to ensure compliance with the law," he said in a statement today.

However, he said currently it was even more crucial for companies facing challenging conditions not to compromise on corruption.

"This is to ensure that corrupt practices are kept at bay and effectively addressed both at the organisation and throughout the entire supply chain," he added.

FMM recommended the government to consider deferment of the implementation to allow companies especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to get all their procedures and systems into order.

It said the deferment should only be for a minimal period, preferably three months, to a maximum of six months from the original date of June 1 with a definite date stated and gazetted immediately to ensure that companies take the new deadline seriously.

FMM said it was imperative for businesses to establish robust integrity systems in their operations to minimise any risk of corruption.

"We continue to emphasise on the need for the government to assist the SMEs in their preparations as there remains concerns on the readiness and capacity of the SMEs in ensuring that adequate internal measures are put in place to prevent any potential acts of corruption.

"SMEs especially still lack the know-how about implementing such measures and there needs to be greater capacity building efforts put in place to assist them," said FMM.

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