Role And Independence Of The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission


Sahain Nada Puthucheary

Kuala Lumpur

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (“MACC”) was established under the MACC Act 2009 with the objective of promoting integrity and accountability of the public and private sector administration.

Today, the MACC and its officers serve to receive and investigate reports regarding corruption offences, among a list of other duties. The MACC also functions to examine the practices of public bodies with a view of allowing the discovery of corruption offences and to revise any practices that may be conducive to corruption.

In short, the MACC is tasked to combat and prevent corruption in Malaysia.

There has been much debate on the independence of the MACC and for years there have been demands for the MACC to be empowered as an independent enforcement agency. Such calls have only been become more prominent given the spotlight on the MACC in the past weeks. Currently, MACC is considered an agency under the Prime Minister’s Office.

Independence should also be considered in the context of the operations of an enforcement agency. Simply put, if you were doubtful of the independence of an agency, its officers and its operations, would you make a report to the same agency?

Considering the nature of corruption offences and the MACC’s role, public trust in the commission is essential in ensuring the fight against corruption is effective. The nature of enforcing anti-corruption laws is based on public trust and belief that the enforcers are held to the highest standard of conduct.

A blemish on the integrity and independence of the enforcement agency tasked with combatting corruption seriously deprives itself of public trust. As can be seen in the past weeks, such a blemish leads to public distrust and a sentiment that corruption has truly seeped into the most unlikely parts of our society, which highlights the underlying expectation of independence to which the MACC is held.

Surely, the independence of the MACC and its officers would only complement their objectives, duties and powers in combating corruption. All efforts should made to further (and never to hamper) that cause.

About the Author

Sahain is currently pursuing his pupillage at NKPT under the tutelage Mr. Joachim Xavier. He graduated with Honours from the National University of Malaysia. Sahain believes that the legal fraternity plays an integral part in the operation of the rule of law in Malaysia and is keen to utilise his legal education towards the betterment of society and the country.

Disclaimer: This post is not intended as a solicitation, is not legal advice, and is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice. You should not act upon any such information without first seeking qualified professional counsel on your specific matter





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