Malaysia moves to prevent conflict of interest in govt deals

By The Star | Source: ANN
All members of the administration and their immediate families should be barred from bidding for government contracts, says the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Com­mission (MACC).

This is one of the proposals mooted by the commission’s consultation and prevention panel to check corruption.

The nine-member panel, headed by chairman Johan Jaafar, said the instruction should be adhered to by Cabinet ministers, their deputies, mentris besar, chief ministers and state executive councillors.

“The panel proposed that this be implemented with immediate effect at the federal, state, local government levels as well as in government agencies,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Johan said the suggestion was aimed at preventing conflicts of interest and to plug loopholes and opportunities that could lead to corruption.

It was also to allay public perception that those close to the corridors of power could influence the government decision-making process.

“In this regard, the previous practice, whereby any member of the administration is absolved from liability merely by leaving a meeting related to an application by a company in which family members had an interest, should no longer be in force,” he said.

The panel also proposed that all MPs and assemblymen declare their assets once every three years to the MACC to ensure integrity in government administration.

The panel also proposed a one-year cooling-off period for retired civil servants before they can join the corporate sector.

“Presently, there is no such requirement and this could lead to a conflict of interest, as those involved could take advantage of their knowledge, influence, and positions while in government service for personal gains upon retirement,” he said