The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) began its operation officially on January 1, 2009 replacing the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) Malaysia.It was established by legislation namely the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2008 (Act 694).Prior to that, efforts to combat corruption were formally carried out by a small unit under the Prime Minister’s Department which handled corruption prevention activities mainly through lecturing.Concurrently criminal investigation involving corruption were being handled by the“ Special Crimes” branch that was set up within the Police Department while the prosecution of corruption cases were conducted by the Prosecution Division of the Law Ministry.In view of the fact that anti-corruption activities were carried out independently by these different agencies, the Government decided to consolidate them under one roof known as the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA).
Functions of the MACC are provided under Section 7 Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Bill 2009 as follows:
·To receive and consider any report of the commission of an offence under this Act and investigate such of the reports as the Chief Commissioner or the officers consider practicable;
·To detect and investigate-
(I)any suspected offence under this Act;
(ii)Any suspected attempt to commit any offence under this Act; and
(iii)Any suspected conspiracy to commit any offence under this Act;
·To examine the practices, systems and procedures of public bodies in order to facilitate the discovery of offences under this Act and to secure the revision of such practices, systems or procedures as in the opinion of the Chief Commissioner may be conducive to corruption;
·To instruct, advise and assist any person, on the latter’s request, on ways in which corruption may be eliminated by such person;
·To advise heads of public bodies of any changes in practices, systems or procedures compatible with the effective discharge of the duties of the public bodies as the Chief Commissioner thinks necessary to reduce the likelihood of the occurrence of corruption;
·To educate the public against corruption and
·To enlist and foster public support against corruption
MACC Malaysia is one of the organizations under the Prime Minister’s Department.Even though MACC Malaysia is under the Prime Minister’s Department, it is just for the reason of finance and staffing only.The everyday business of MACC Malaysia is being carried out freehandedly and autonomously by the officers under the supervision of the Chief Commissioner without interferences from any other party.
MACC Malaysia is headed by the Chief Commissioner who has been bestowed by His Majesty the Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Di Pertuan Agong under Section 5(1) Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act 1997 upon the advice of the Honorable Prime Minister of Malaysia and would be assisted by two MACC Deputy Directors General.
MACC has 11 divisions and an academy on the Headquarters Level besides 15 more offices at the state level, each of which is headed by a State Director.
According to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) 2010 Annual Report, of the 381 people charged, 193 were members of the public, followed by 131 civil servants, 56 private sector employees and one politician.
It said 811 cases were handled by the lower courts in 2010, including over 300 new cases.A total of 435 cases were disposed of, including 309 in which the accused were convicted and 103 in which the accused were acquitted and discharged without their defense being called.
The report said in 2010, a total of 769 appeal cases were heard by the High Court and Court of Appeal.It added that those convicted of bribery had been slapped with fines amounting to RM9.5 million.
Meanwhile, MACC commissioner Datuk Seri Abu Kassim Mohamed said the agency strived to convince the public about its transparency and professionalism in fighting corruption in 2010.In a prelude to the report, he said it was not an easy task as MACC had to grapple with the issue of negative image and misconceptions with regard to its legal scope as well as prejudices resulting from inquests.
Last year, MACC opened 1, 220 investigation papers (IPs) based on 5, 646 pieces of information.A total of 900 IPs were completed by investigators.He said MACC had focused on investigating cases involving illegal mining and sand smuggling, illegal logging, corruption at the country’s entry points as well as distribution of diesel subsidy.