MACC: ‘Cartels’ of corrupt civil servants, contractors work to embezzle public funds

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There is a need to review the procedures of awarding government projects to prevent the persistence of graft “cartels” among civil servants.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission senior director (special operation) Datuk Tan Kang Sai said a series of high-profile cases involving millions of ringgits had been detected in the country, involving junior and senior civil servants.

He said enforcement officers were also found receiving bribes whether in the form of cash or valuable items.

Tan said, for instance, the anti-graft body raided the Shah Alam City Council in September, in its investigation into a flood mitigation project worth hundreds of millions of ringgit.

“Eight city council officers and a contractor were arrested,” he said in a statement.

He also said MACC had arrested 11 individuals, including policemen and civil servants, for their alleged involvement in a syndicate which offered reduction of summonses since 2016, involving transactions of over RM5 million.

Tan pointed out that these cases shared the same modus operandi.

“From the investigations record, this issue has existed for a long time. These people embezzle money from government projects.”

He said MACC welcomed the firmness of the new government’s bid to prevent corruption in every administrative matter.

Days after Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was sworn in as prime minister, he stressed the government should no longer give approvals and procurements of projects without proper tender.

Tan said corruption issues among civil servants needed to be addressed from grassroot level.

“Otherwise, it will not only tarnish the image of civil servants but will also affect development as well as the economy of the country, ultimately the people also have to bear losses.

“To ensure that the project cartel issue can be overcome, especially in the public sector, everyone plays an important role, which is to be the eyes and ears of the MACC.

“This is because without information, it will be difficult for us to take further action to curb the activity,” he said. – NST