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FMM joins calls for govt to gazette law on corporate graft

FMM In The News: FREE MALAYSIA TODAY, PETALING JAYA, Thursday, May 7, 2020 - The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has joined calls urging the government not to backtrack on gazetting a law which would see business entities charged for corrupt practices, after the new chief of the anti-graft agency said this could be revised.

In a statement, FMM president Soh Thian Lai noted calls for Section 17A of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (Amendment) Act 2018 to be gazetted only next year in light of the Covid-19 pandemic which has had a heavy impact on businesses.

He suggested instead a deferment period, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), for a maximum of six months from the original date of June 1, 2020.

Adding that the law helps prevent corrupt practices within commercial organisations, he said a deferment period would allow SMEs to get their systems in order.

“With a definite date stated and gazetted immediately, it will ensure that companies take the new deadline seriously,” he added.

Despite the economic slowdown, he said, the law was necessary to keep corrupt practices at bay throughout the supply chain.

MACC chief Azam Baki had said on Tuesday that the agency would study a proposal to suspend the implementation of Section 17A of the act.

He said businesses were asking for a year or so to reestablish themselves before the law is enforced.

Yesterday, the local chapter of Transparency International also urged Putrajaya not to delay gazetting the law.

It cited a survey of 100 companies by the Malaysian Institute of Corporate Governance, where a little over half of companies had created anti-graft guidelines and procedures.

It also said enforcing Section 17A would take some time, citing the case of the UK, where the UK Bribery Act was in place for five years before the first case was brought up.

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