Fighting bribery and corruption: the burden of establishing innocence is now on corporate directors
Beginning June 1, apathy and ignorance towards bribery and corruption in your business will personally cost you. Malaysia’s seemingly never-ending battle to combat bribery and corruption took a decidedly different turn on June 1st of this year, as specific measures go into effect that saddle corporations and other organisations – along with their directors, controllers and senior management – with the full burden of proving that they are not involved in allegations of corrupt activity by their employees and third-party partners. That burden of proof means that corporations will have to effectively demonstrate that policies and procedures are firmly in place that deter, detect and defend against incidences of bribery at all levels of the organisation.
The State Of Corruption In Malaysia
While a large part of the political and economic universe still believes that engaging in some form of corruption is the only way to survive and advance, many countries now are taking drastic measures to root out corruption, and Malaysia is rushing to the forefront of that trend. Currently ranked at 51 out of 180 countries on Transparency International’s “Corruption Perception Index” (2019), with a score of 53 (where 0 is perceived to be highly corrupt and 100 is perceived to be very clean), the Malaysian government emerged from the highly publicized 1MDB financial scandal on high alert and with a firm resolve to adopt tough anti-corruption legislation as one of its main priorities.
The result was the empowerment of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and its 2009 Act which addressed corruption on both the political and private sector levels. The Parliament’s subsequent amendment – Section 17A – was added in 2018 which likened the legislation to the UK Bribery Act, but added a “parallel” element of personal criminal liability in corporate bribery cases. And that’s where business organisations need to take notice, and take immediate action.
Click here to read more about the state of corruption in Malaysia and find out how to demonstrate Adequate Procedures when fighting bribery and corruption.
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CRI Group has safeguarded businesses from any risks, providing investigations (i.e. insurance fraud), employee background screening, investigative due diligence, business intelligence, third-party risk management, forensic accounting, compliance and other professional investigative research services. In 2016, CRI Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 19600:2014 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.