The “Adequate Procedures” And “Due Diligence” Defences To Corporate Liability And Personal Liabilities Of Directors And Management For Corruption And Bribery In Malaysia

Some months ago, I wrote about the impending application of the newly gazetted Section 17A of the amended Malaysian Anti Corruption Act and concluded as follows:

”Two years will pass by quickly, and it is imperative that anti corruption and anti bribery systems, policies, manuals and the relevant training programs be put in place now to protect directors and management from personal liabilities.”

In the latest development, our Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir has today launch a set of new Guidelines to aid the corporate sector to put in place adequate procedures to minimize risks and prevent corruption. This is indeed most helpful to directors and management of companies as they go about preparing and putting in place the required compliance systems in their organizations ahead of the coming into effect of the new law on 1 June 2020.

“In order to help ensure commercial organisations in any industry employ fundamental measures in minimising the risk of corruption, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today launched guidelines on this today.

They come under the Adequate Procedures Pursuant to Sub-section (5) of Section 17A of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) Act 2009.

Dr Mahathir said the guidelines have been drafted to assist commercial organisations in understanding what were the “adequate procedures” to be implemented to prevent the occurrence of corrupt practices.“




As the new dawn breaks over Malaysia, scandals and corruption are dominating the air waves and digital news media. With the Pakatan Harapan government’s renewed emphasis on upholding the Rule of Law, the issue of corporate liability and personal liabilities of directors and management for Corruption and Bribery has come into sharp focus.

The Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) Amendment Act 2018, gazetted on 4 May 2018 introduced a new Section 17A as follows:

Offence by commercial organization

(1)   A commercial organization commits an offence if a person associated with the commercial organization corruptly gives, agrees to give, promises or offers to any person any gratification whether for the benefit of that person or another person with intent –

(a) to obtain or retain business for the commercial organization; or

(b) to obtain or retain an advantage in the conduct of business for the commercial organization.

(2)  …

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