On 1 June 2020, corporations in Malaysia will have new anti-bribery measures in place as the government seeks to crack down on corruption and bring Malaysia’s regulations in line with those in the U.S. and U.K.
The introduction of Section 17A will update the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act of 2009. It is designed to push Malaysian companies to take a risk-based approach to compliance as they look at their internal policies and procedures for preventing corruption.
Under Section 17A, the law imposes liability on any person associated with the organization including the company’s directors, officers, partners, employees or anyone who performs services on behalf of the organization could be held personally responsible. The individual could face prosecution and imprisonment of up to 20 years if the company did not have adequate procedures in place to prevent corruption. Companies could be fined “not less than 10 times the value of the gratification or RM1million, whichever is higher.”
The intention of the regulation is for corporate boards and management to oversee the risk of corruption in their companies and set the right culture from the top. Companies should proactively strengthen their anti-bribery and corruption program
and automate their due diligence workflows. They should anticipate an increase in global anti-corruption investigations accompanied by a rise in the cost of enforcement actions.
Most importantly, organizations need to send a strong message to all of their stakeholders— employees, suppliers, joint venture partners, and customers—that corruption at any level won’t be tolerated.
To learn more, watch our webinar recording “Anti-Bribery and Corruption Laws in Malaysia – The Next Phase.”