First Criminal Charge under Malaysia’s Corporate Liability Provision

On 17 March 2021, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) announced that the MACC will be making the first charge under Malaysia’s corporate liability provision – section 17A of the MACC Act.

MACC’s press release is set out below (in the Malay language only):

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Malaysia’s Corporate Liability Provision – Confirmed in Force on 1 June 2020

Malaysia’s corporate liability provision in section 17A of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 (MACC Act) has been gazetted and will be in force on 1 June 2020. The gazette notice is found here. It is now critical for commercial organisations to have adequate procedures in place.

The corporate liability provision is modeled after section 7 of the UK Bribery Act‘s corporate offence of failure to prevent bribery. Continue reading

The Airbus Bribery Case Study: Six Corporate Liability Lessons for Malaysian Companies

I set out six cautionary lessons for Malaysian companies arising from the Airbus US$4 billion global resolution for bribery involving authorities from the UK, France and the United States.

In the UK, Airbus faced five counts of failure of a commercial organisation to prevent bribery. This was under section 7 of the UK Bribery Act. This section 7 is a similar provision to Malaysia’s section 17A of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act, known as the corporate liability provision. I have written about the elements of Malaysia’s corporate liability here.

You can read the UK High Court grounds of judgment in relation to the Airbus settlement through the deferred prosecution agreement. You can also read the detailed agreed Statement of Facts for all the background facts.

From the Airbus case study, I set out below six cautionary lessons for Malaysian companies, especially where we are on the brink of seeing the introduction of corporate liability on 1 June 2020. Continue reading

Malaysia’s Corporate Liability Effective 1 June 2020 – Adequate Procedures Guidelines Issued

In a speech delivered on 10 December 2018, the Prime Minister of Malaysia announced that the corporate liability amendments to the MACC Act will be brought into force on 1 June 2020.

Further, I had earlier written about the important defence of adequate procedures. It is a defence for an organisation to show it had adequate procedures in place to prevent such associated persons from carrying out the corrupt conduct.

The Prime Minister’s Department has also now issued the Guidelines on Adequate Procedures pursuant to section 17A(5) of the MACC Act. The guidelines (in the Malay and English version) can also be download from the Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC) website. Continue reading

MACC States that the Corporate Liability Law in force in 2020

The Edge and The Malaysia Gazette reported that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has stated that the corporate liability provision of the MACC Act will be in force in 2020. This two-year period is in line with my earlier post on the Parliamentary debate during the tabling of the Amendment Bill.

The one takeaway of this new corporate liability is this. Essentially, when a person associated with a company commits a corrupt act to obtain a business advantage, this will expose the company to committing a criminal offence. This will then have serious repercussions on the directors and management of the company.

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MACC Amendment Act: Preparing for Corporate Liability

In an earlier post, I wrote about the 6 key issues arising from the MACC Amendment Bill. The Bill introduced corporate liability for corruption offences. The Amendment Bill has now been gazetted on 4 May 2018 as the MACC Amendment Act 2018. However, this Act has not been brought into force yet.

I set out certain thoughts on how companies can already prepare for the coming into force of the corporate liability provisions under the MACC Amendment Act 2018. Continue reading