30 May 2018
On 5 April 2018, the Dewan Negara (the Upper House of Parliament) passed the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (Amendment) Bill 2018 (“Bill”). The Bill seeks to amend the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009. It has yet to come into force.
Most notably, the Bill includes new far-reaching corporate liability provisions seeking to penalise commercial organisations for the corrupt practices of its associated persons, as follows:
- A commercial organisation will commit an offence if a person associated with it corruptly gives or offers to any person any gratification with intent to obtain or retain business or advantage for the commercial organisation (“Offence”). A commercial organisation under the Bill includes local companies, foreign companies, and local and foreign partnerships, carrying on business in Malaysia. It will be a defence for a commercial organisation charged with an Offence to prove that it had in place adequate procedures designed to prevent persons associated with the commercial organisation from undertaking such conduct, and the Minister responsible for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission will be required to issue guidelines relating to such procedures.
- In addition, where an Offence is committed by a commercial organisation, a director, officer, partner, or any person who is concerned in the management of the affairs of the commercial organisation at the time of the commission of the Offence will be deemed to have committed that Offence. To avoid liability, the person would have to prove that the Offence was committed without his consent and that he exercised due diligence to prevent the commission of the Offence.
- The Offence will carry a substantial a fine of not less than 10 times the sum or value of the gratification if it is capable of being valued, or one million ringgit, whichever is higher, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 20 years, or to both.The Bill is available on the website of the Malaysian Parliament www.parlimen.gov.my, or by clicking here.