Anti Corruption

B40 Corruption: Ameliorate Some Drivers of Corruption via Basic Income Strategies

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john ku

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3d Anti corruption

Providing an income safety net for B40 households addresses a fundamental driver of corruption. While implementing such a system necessitates wide structural reform and political will, ensuring that all Malaysian citizens residing in the country have access to certain fundamental goods, including access to education, universal health care, and Basic Income in the form of social security or benefits will also bring about societal well-being and help create a peaceful, harmonious Malaysia with shared prosperity.
As in Norway, Basic Income provision by the government should be needs-based and tied to specific conditions to be met, such as requiring citizens to try and find a job, be law-abiding, participating in elections, and paying taxes.
The state can raise funds for the Basic Income plan via charging for goods and services which have so far been provided free, and via GST, which aids in democratising taxes, since it is based on consumption. [Note: GST system should include GST credits for B40 households]

Build Holistic Society: Systemic & Institutional Corruption

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May Leong, Janice Kwok, Aida Rahman, Hayley Lee, Ahmad Shafiee

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3d Anti corruption

Social norms, entrenched interests, and collective action problems make corruption highly resistant to reform. To achieve and sustain gains in corruption control, the existing corrupt equilibrium must be disrupted.
Commitment to Anti-Corruption
▪ Punish major offenders, including senior officials
▪ Guarantee free and independent media
▪ Allow civil society organizations and NGOs to access information and monitor / report on public services
▪ Ensure ACAs - anti-corruption agencies (e.g., MACC) can work independently
▪ Appoint politicians who publicly pledge to support anti-corruption and maintain public accountability for their actions
▪ Include anti-corruption education in all school curriculum
▪ Expand internet access for all Malaysians
▪ Strengthen Monitoring & Evaluation roles in all public services and ministries

Establish Vicarious Liability Provisions in the Public Service through the Public Ombudsman

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Fiqah Roslan

The Tiada.Guru Campaign

3d Anti corruption

If a public servant is accused of misconduct, the Public Ombudsman must be empowered to initiate investigations against their superior and/or co-equal officers in cases where negligence was responsible for such inaction.

These specific investigations must be independently executed by the Public Ombudsman, instead of the internal disciplinary department. The investigations must, as a minimum punishment, require a lowering of the officers’ ranks: warnings and notices have been shown to be weak and ineffective punishment for most serious misconduct.

Some may argue that we just need to “teach” errant officers to be more diligent. Incorrect: the strongest lesson is by example and any teacher knows it incredibly well. Children will understand vicarious responsibility once they see it executed, not when those in power become mouthpieces using the language of reform but without the conviction to enact it.

Holistic Society: Create a National Integrity System for Malaysia

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Selina Chean, John Ku, Zulkifli Hilmi

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3d Anti corruption

Identify gaps and opportunities for corruption within each of the pillars and then coordinate the work of the government, civil society, and corporates into a coherent framework. Some key initiatives are identified below.
Active Civil Society
▪ Repeal OSA and review role of MCMC.
▪ Integrate anti-corruption values into education for all secondary schools
▪ National level corruption campaign with media, educational and religious groups
Corporate Governance
▪ Review appointment of Directors and shareholders of GLCs
▪ Implement declaration and monitoring of assets
▪ Increase protection of minority shareholders’ interests
▪ Increase control of monopolies and quasi-monopolies
Judicial Independence
▪ Strengthen anti-corruption legislation and institutions
Public Administration Reform
▪ Enforce Code of Ethics in the public service
▪ Implement declaration and monitoring of assets for top civil servants

Political Reform: Avoid Electing Politicians Involved in Corruption and Abuse of Power

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John Ku, Len Hew

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3d Anti corruption

A free and independent media empowers the public as agents to keep the powerful in check. Independent journalists also complement the work of anti-corruption agencies (such as the SPRM) in monitoring corruption and bad financial practices. Historically in Malaysia, the issuance of licences and permits for print and broadcast media has been in the hands of the government - as such, there are no guarantees for editorial independence or safety of media workers in Malaysia. Nevertheless, there is much that media can do to ensure more critical, quality, and meaningful reporting.
• The Sedition Act and Official Secrets Act should be repealed because of the restrictions they impose on journalists and the public - the Sedition Act prevents open and transparent discussions of issues, while the OSA subjects journalists and sources who expose wrongdoings to heavy penalties1.
• Review of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 to remove problematic provisions on content regulation, and further define rules on ownership and licensing for media companies. Such revision is needed to prevent large media players or those with direct political links from dominating the market and to encourage independent content producers1.

Political Reform: Money Politics

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John Ku, Len Hew, Rashid Ahmad

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3d Anti corruption

Political interference in businesses was part of the reign of the Barisan Nasional, predominantly headed by the United Malays National Organisation (Umno). It is known that many proxies were formed through extensive networks, enabling Umno to hold its money in multiple different channels and, through these proxies, mobilise funding for the party and especially for general elections.
One of the examples is the politicisation of government-linked companies (GLCs) where political appointments to the boards and managements are often used as a reward to consolidate the ruling party’s power. The domino effect from these political appointments is clear: procurement systems and access to government grants and contracts are more opaque than ever.
A Political Financing Act is urgently needed. This Act must include the rules and procedures for a political party to raise money, how to keep that money and, most importantly, how that money can be spent. There should also be a requirement for their accounts to be audited annually; with financial reports made available to the public.
To create a fair system of political financing, a three-pronged approach should be taken:
(1) reforms in political parties to enhance transparency and accountability of funds
(2) government policy that fairly allocates direct and indirect financing of politics
(3) empowerment of the public through civic and voter education
Clear enforcement mechanisms should be put in place for those who violate the rules, and a limit must be imposed on the amount of money that can be donated as well as tax exemptions. Learning from the 1MDB scandal, donations from foreign corporations or individuals and GLCs should also be prohibited. Funding declaration is also imperative in rebuilding the public’s trust.

Strengthening Public Service Delivery: Establish an Independent Public Ombudsman, an “IPCMC” for all Public Servants and all Politicians

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Fiqah Roslan

The Tiada.Guru Campaign

3d Anti corruption

As MOE whistleblowers have repeatedly shouted from the rooftops, internal investigations can never be reformed. Malaysia’s governance requires a reset: a Public Ombudsman (PO) with wholly independent disciplinary, civil, and criminal jurisdiction against all public servants and politicians.
Today, we must push beyond just forming an IPCMC: it is not just one Ministry, Agency, nor politician, but setting in place an empowered and robust Integrity Structure for the whole Government under the aegis of the PO who is then given authority to:
 Become the central hub for all misconduct and corruption claims against politicians and public servants, thus permanently abolishing all Ministries’ and Agencies’ internal “investigative” and “integrity” departments, defunct and dead in all but name.
 Become the central hub for all whistleblower protection.
 Be administered by rotated non-government experts and governed by statutory duties on human rights, justice, and transparency. These experts will be internally recruited from the legal & health professions, academia, and civil society, with three-year rotations.
o Its limited inaugural officers should be nominated by Parliament, similar to Cabinet Members in the United States (and unlike SUHAKAM Commission Members “recommended” by the Prime Minister).
 Be answerable only to Parliament for monthly reports and periodic non-government integrity and financial audits.
 Absorb SUHAKAM immediately and rebuild MACC 2.0 over time to remove political interference and sunset redundant agencies.
 Be firewalled against Legislative & Executive Branches: through guaranteed funding as direct % of yearly Budget, previously noted audits, and a permanent disqualification for all current and former public servants as administrators and officers.
 Establish a Public Interest Litigation Unit: in other nations, POs regularly file civil proceedings against egregious Government misconduct on behalf of aggrieved citizens, key for non-criminal misconduct, i.e., Ain Husniza vs MOE or Indira Gandhi vs. IGP.

The PO must become the primary warrior against institutionalized misconduct and corruption in the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. Positive examples of other nations’ Pos can be found in the UNESCO 2017/8 Global Education Monitoring Report (page xiiii).

Strengthening Public Service Delivery: Functional Reform Measures

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May Leong, Selina Chean, David Tan

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3d Anti corruption

1. Improve Administrative Processes to Improve Service Delivery
Simplification of existing public delivery systems, leveraging on the availability of technology to reduce procedural complexity and reduce wait time can significantly reduce opportunities for corruption.
2. Improve Public Financial Management (PFM)
Making treasury operations in all public service agencies clearer and more controlled; making budgets transparent, making spending against budgets transparent; improving all the processes around money reduce corruption substantially. In general, strengthening Public Financial Management can be the single most effective anti-corruption measure available to public officials.
3. Improve financial management processes
In addition to improving PFM, there are hundreds of more modest reforms to improve the integrity and transparency of basic financial management processes within public service agencies that will also make corruption harder. Proper budgeting process, making the annual budget public, tracking the spending against those budgets, etc. These small changes can be powerful.
4. Improve the Management Information Systems (MIS)
Improving the public service agency’s management information system is core to better institutional control of corruption. It is astonishing how many government entities in Malaysia have totally lacking MIS, preventing effective management, and enabling extensive corruption. MIS reform is not a ‘citizen-facing’ reform, but it has been shown to be effective in constraining corruption in many cases2.
5. Organization Reform of Government Ministries
Corrupt behavior is often seen to be more prevalent in some Government Ministries than in others. It may be that improvement to the level of corruption may require dismantling corrupt ‘networks’ via organizational reform, such as the removal of a division, or splitting the Ministry into separate pieces, or the converse, amalgamating overlapping agencies.

Strengthening Public Service Delivery: Increasing the Efficiency and Transparency of Public Procurement

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John Ku, Janice Kwok, Aida Rahman, Hayley Lee, Ahmad Shafiee

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3d Anti corruption

▪ Implement transparent tendering processes: To ensure all government departments and regulators carry out projects based on the advice and recommendation provided by the relevant Technical Departments.
▪ Enforce prosecution of instances where public and private sector individuals/entities have failed to adhere to transparent procurement requirements
▪ Ensure accountability and transparency in defining the exercise of power of Government Ministers especially in procurement and financial system reporting
▪ To introduce standard clauses in project procurements’ undertakings to protect Government’s and public interest in all projects/contracts involving Government, Statutory Bodies, and State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs). In the case of any breach of contract(s), the Government can at any given time, terminate or/and file a civil suit against the party who breaches the contract.

Strengthening Public Service Delivery: Streamline Licencing/Approvals for SMEs

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Janice Kwok, John Ku, David TH Tan, Jeff Wei, Adila Azhar, Ahmad Shafiee

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3d Anti corruption

A two-fold, bottom-up and top-down approach to address this issue-
a. Government agencies working with anti-corruption agencies and corporates (especially the SME sector), to review and streamline all forms of licensing, duties, and taxes imposed. Such streamlining should leverage digitalization of processes, to improve both turnaround time and reduce the opportunities for corruption to occur.
b. It should be mandatory for SMEs to provide, and implement, Business Integrity programs in their businesses and for owners and employees to have access to a whistleblower channel, so that instances of corruption can be escalated for remedial action.

Strengthening Public Service Delivery: Stronger + Broader + Assured Protection for All Whistleblowers (e.g., in Schools)

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Fiqah Roslan

The Tiada.Guru Campaign

3d Anti corruption

Whistleblower protection must be significantly increased for all public servants - but especially in cases of child abuse, child neglect, sexual harassment/assault against minors, this protection must also be extended to school staff, students, and parents. The scope of protection & consequences against retaliation must correct the enormous power imbalance between adult perpetrators and minors (e.g., marginalised communities, OKU, Orang Asli, migrants, B40 groups).

It is urgent and critical that whistleblower protection be provided by an independent Public Ombudsman with powerful firewalls against Legislative and Executive interference.

Thus, through an eventual independent Public Ombudsman, we plead for upgraded protection for all witnesses of school-based misconduct:
 be allowed to submit whistleblower reports + evidence confidentially and be only required to reveal themselves (if required) during a formal disciplinary, civil, or criminal proceeding.
 be allowed to consult lawyers without restriction both within the Ombudsman structure and external legal sources without any penalty against their protection.
 be given protection without any restrictions from other legislation (e.g., OSA, Sedition Act, Penal Code 203A), motivation, or types of disclosure.
 be incentivized with monetary compensation (and for staff/teachers: Sasaran Kerja Tahunan scores + promotion opportunities)
 if the victims are minors [or other protected categories], all damages/rewards are automatically tripled.
 If the alleged misconduct / crime reported by the whistleblower is of a heinous, violent, sexual, or widespread nature, all damages / awards are automatically tripled.

T20 & M40 Corruption: Property Ownership by Elected Representatives

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drshamkk

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3d Anti corruption

There needs to be
a. a regulatory requirement for all elected representatives to declare property [and other] assets owned by them and their family
b. strict enforcement of this requirement for declaration of assets, as well as a requirement to show the source of funds for the property ownership
c. in the event that the source of funds is not clearly demonstrated, a route enabling legal confiscation of the property to the state should be put in place