26 November 2020

On 13 November 2020, the Malaysia Competition Commission (“MyCC”) announced that it had paid an official visit to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (“MACC”) headquarters with the intention to conduct an all-inclusive discussion with MACC Chief Commissioner Datuk Seri Azam Baki on a future collaboration between MyCC and MACC to tackle issues in respect of leakages in government procurement activities. This visit was led by MyCC Chief Executive Officer Iskandar Ismail.

Both agencies agreed that in dealing with the leakages in the government procurement process, joint investigation is oftentimes necessary, if not vital, particularly in cases that involve bid rigging and systemic corruption.
A Memorandum of Understanding will be entered into between MyCC and MACC in efforts to create a platform which allows both agencies to work seamlessly together.

MyCC has also stated that it is currently investigating tenders which exceed RM6 billion in value and which involve more than 600 companies. MyCC discovered that these tenders not only raise competition concerns from a bid-rigging perspective, but also concern the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act 2009 as there are also elements of corruption in the tender process. Both agencies anticipate that a more rounded solution to tackle the issue of leakages in government procurement may be afforded with the involvement of MACC.

On a separate note, MyCC has indicated that the amendments that will be made to the Competition Act 2010 include a widening of MyCC’s powers to obtain information. This is because MyCC has stated that it has faced difficulties in obtaining specific information or documents pertaining to a government procurement process as these documents may be classified as official secrets and hence, protected under the Official Secrets Act 1972. It is envisaged that the amendments to the Competition Act 2010 will address the limitation in MyCC’s powers to obtain such information.

Apart from MACC, MyCC has also been increasing its co-operation with other governmental agencies in order to address competition concerns which are prevalent in other industries. A recent example is MyCC’s joint statement with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in addressing exclusivity arrangements in high-rise buildings.