Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), 21 August 2023 – In 2018, the Government of Malaysia established Section 17A of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act, known as the Corporate Liability Provision. This provision allows for directors and company management to be held criminally liable for acts of corruption perpetuated by any member of staff or agents of the company, unless management can prove adequate procedures are in-place to prevent corrupt practices within and involving the company.
Under the Siemens Global Action for Business Integrity and in conjunction with the Korean Ministry of Justice, UNODC aims to build capacities of the Malaysian private sector in corruption prevention, in-line with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption Articles 21 and 26. To this end, on 21 August 2023, UNODC and implementing partner Transparency International Malaysia, organized a training on the implementation of the Adequate Procedures for Corporate Liability, in the Southern state of Johor, in the Malay language, titled “Seksyen 17A: Pemahaman, Kepentingan Dan Kesan Terhadap Liabiliti Korporat” (Section 17A: Understanding, Importance and Effects towards Corporate Liability).
The training was attended by local Johor-based companies, namely Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs), but also included a few state-owned companies. The SMEs were represented by owners and managers of the companies, while bigger companies were represented by their legal and compliance teams. The workshop was also organized and held in the Malay language, making it more accessible for SMEs, who were the target audience.
The training began with a short introduction by UNODC on UNCAC and the role it plays in corruption prevention, as well as UNODC’s Business Integrity Programme. This was followed by a presentation from a legal expert, Mr. Balbeer Singh Jessi, who spoke on Section 17A and the potential defenses available for a company charged under this provision. The last session featured an in-depth review on the implementation of the adequate procedures in-house using tools available from the Standard Department and public domain, by Mrs. Nuriridzuan Ismail, a Certified Integrity Officer, who had previously served in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
All the presentations were followed by Questions and Answers sessions, where participants actively engaged in discussions on their challenges and queries regarding the respective topics. Participant’s knowledge on the topic was measured through pre and post knowledge-based assessments where there was a measured 38% increase in their knowledge.
This activity was part of a package of anti-corruption activities in Malaysia funded by Siemens.
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