National Anti-Corruption Plan 2019-2023 Launched

The Prime Minister of Malaysia launched the National Anti-Corruption Plan 2019-2023 (‘NACP’) yesterday. 
The NACP aims to make Malaysia corruption-free by 2023. It focuses on six priority areas, namely political governance, public sector administration, public procurement, legal and judicial, law enforcement and corporate governance upon which six key strategies have been formulated, namely-

  • Strategy 1: Strengthen political integrity and accountability;
  • Strategy 2: Strengthen effectiveness of public service delivery;
  • Strategy 3: Increase efficiency and transparency in public procurement;
  • Strategy 4: Enhance the credibility of the legal and judicial system;
  • Strategy 5: Institutionalise credibility of law enforcement agencies; and
  • Strategy 6: Inculcate good governance in corporate entity.
The aforesaid strategies have led to 17 strategic objectives which produced 115 initiatives to be initiated from 2019 to 2023, of which 22 have been identified as priority initiatives based on the urgency to deal with the intensity of the causes.
The 22 priority initiatives include the following –
Strategy 1
  • Introduce new legislation to govern political funding and to make lobbying an offence (by December 2020)
  • Introduce a proper asset declaration system for Members of the Administration and Members of Parliament (by December 2019 and December 2023 respectively)
  • Prohibit issue of letters of support by Members of the Administration or Highly Influential Persons (by December 2019)
  • Introduce policy on appointing politicians as chairperson or directors of Statutory Bodies, State-Owned Enterprises and Government Established Companies Limited by Guarantee based strictly on their academic and/or professional qualifications (by December 2019)
Strategy 2
  • Manage the involvement and appointment of Senior Government Officials as members of Board of Directors and CEO in all State Owned Enterprises and Statutory Bodies (by December 2019)
  • Introduce a transparent guideline on the appointment of Special Officers, Political Secretaries, Private Secretaries and Media Secretaries for all Ministers and Deputy Ministers including a limit on the number of appointments, salaries and entitlements (by December 2019)
Strategy 3
  • Ensure that departments and regulators carry out projects based on the advice and recommendation by Technical Departments such as the Public Works Department and related technical agencies (by December 2019)
  • Create accountability and transparency in defining the exercise of power of the Minister as stipulated in legal provisions especially in procurement and financial system (by December 2023)
  • Introduce standard clauses in project procurements to protect the Government’s interest in all projects/contracts involving Government, Statutory Bodies and State-Owned Enterprises, including the right at any given time to terminate the contract in event of breach by the other party (by December 2019)
Strategy 4
  • Promote clear separation of powers and impartiality, i.e. the separation of the powers of the Attorney General and of the Public Prosecutor (by December 2023)
  • Prioritise corruption cases to be handled by judges and public prosecutors who are trained and/or experienced in corruption cases (by December 2020)
Strategy 5
  • Transform and convert the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) into an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to address integrity issues and curb misconduct by the police force (by December 2023)
  • Introduce a new provision in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 to make it an offence for any party to sell a Government project/tender to another for monetary gains without undertaking the project/tender; and to require any person who benefits from the sale of the project/tender to reveal the beneficial ownership (by December 2023)
Strategy 6
  • Introduce an integrity vetting requirement as a selection criteria of top management positions in Statutory Bodies, State-Owned Enterprises and Government Established Companies Limited by Guarantee (by December 2019)
  • Impose a conditional approach on the purpose and utilisation of funds provided by the Government to all Statutory Bodies, State-Owned Enterprises and Government Established Companies Limited by Guarantee (by December 2020)
Other key initiatives set out in the NACP include the following –
Strategy 1
  • Strengthen the independence and widen the autonomy of the National Audit Department by placing it under Parliament (by December 2019)
  • Transform the Public Complaints Bureau into Malaysian Ombudsman (by December 2020)
  • Amend the Federal and States’ Constitutions to limit the term of office of the Prime Minister. Chief Minister and Menteri Besar (by December 2023)
  • Introduce new legislation on Freedom of Information (by December 2023)
  • Require the elected Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat to resign from any post held by him in any political party and to appoint a Deputy Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat from the members of the Opposition (by December 2020)
  • Introduce a written guideline on the role of the caretaker government (by December 2020)
  • Establish separate Parliamentary Select Committees to oversee the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Ombudsman Malaysia and Election Commission Malaysia (by December 2023)
Strategy 2
  • Establish a strong and effective mechanism in the issuance of permits and licensing (by December 2023)
  • Introduce a policy on managing the appointment of consultants in terms of their roles and responsibilities as well as to minimise their involvement in financial matters and organisational policies (by December 2019)
  • Introduce a policy or guideline for the “cooling-off” period for public officials and senior civil servants moving to executive posts in corporate entities (by December 2019)
  • Govern the power of Politicians and Highly Influential Persons including the limitations, inter alia, influences, interferences and subjections of control in Local Authority performance and decision-making (by December 2020)
Strategy 3
  • Introduce a comprehensive procurement policy on disclosure of conflict of interest during the procurement process (by December 2019)
  • Introduce legislation on public procurement to regulate procurement activities, improve efficient resource utilisation and safeguard public and national interest (by December 2023)
  • Introduce a more transparent mechanism in preventing information leakages in the procurement process (by December 2019)
  • Introduce a checks and balances mechanism in procurement dealings with the involvement of the Integrity Unit and Internal Audit Officers (by December 2020)
Strategy 4
  • Review and revise the Judges’ Code of Ethics to prohibit judges from accepting appointments to positions in any commercial entity for three years following their retirement (by December 2020)
Strategy 5
  • Establish a National Anti-Financial Crime Centre as a centre to manage the seizure and forfeiture of assets through integrated enforcement (by December 2019)
  • Insert a new provision in the existing laws that criminalises misconduct in public office which imposes punitive measures against public officials who deliberately cause leakage or wastage of Government funds (by December 2023)
  • Amend the Immigration Act 1959/63 to provide an express power to blacklist persons from leaving the country under limited circumstances defined by law (by December 2023)
  • To propose a minimum imprisonment penalty for corruption offences under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 (by December 2023)
Strategy 6
  • Impose full disclosure of Statutory Bodies, State-Owned Enterprises and Government Established Companies Limited by Guarantee on direct and indirect shareholding of senior management, individual director’s and key management personnel’s directorship positions in other public companies (listed or otherwise), remuneration of individual directors on a detailed basis and senior management on a bands basis (by December 2020)
  • Issue a Prime Minister’s Directive to govern disclosure of conflict of interest, as well as efficiency and transparency in Statutory Bodies, State-Owned Enterprises and Government Established Companies Limited by Guarantee (by December 2020)
  • Establish a full disclosure mechanism on information regarding subsidiaries and non-consolidated companies of Statutory Bodies, State-Owned Enterprises and Government Established Companies Limited by Guarantee (by December 2020)
  • Introduce a legal provision that prohibits Statutory Bodies, State-Owned Enterprises and Government Established Companies Limited by Guarantee from making contributions to politicians and political parties (by December 2023)

The successful implementation of the initiatives set out above will go a long way in reducing corruption and improving public administration in Malaysia.