The new Section 17A of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 will come into force on 1st June 2020 (see PU(B) 247/2020 dated 27th May 2020).
In essence, Section 17A makes a commercial organisation liable for the corrupt act of any person associated with it in seeking to obtain or retain business for the commercial organisation or to obtain or retain an advantage in the conduct of business for the commercial organisation. The minimum fine imposed is RM1 million or 10 times the amount or value of the bribe whichever is higher. There is also the possibility of imprisonment for not more than 20 years. The only defence available to the commercial organisation is to show that it had adequate procedures in place to prevent such corrupt acts. The Government has issued guidelines pertaining to such adequate procedures.
Further, any person who is the director, controller, officer or partner of, or who is concerned in the management of, the commercial organisation is deemed to have committed the offence unless he can prove that the offence was committed without his consent or connivance and that he had exercised due diligence to prevent it.
All commercial organisations (namely, companies and partnerships) are strongly advised to adopt adequate procedures within their organisations to ensure compliance with this new provision.
30 May 2020
Chew Phye Keat (Management Partner)
(T): +603-2632 9873
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