Sunday, May 2, 2010

Givers and Receivers

MACC wants all on board

2010/05/02 NST Online

THE Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission is now giving equal focus to "givers" and "receivers", said its chief, Datuk Abu Kassim Mohamed.
Under Section 17(b) of the MACC Act, those giving bribes can be jailed for up to 20 years and fined not less than five times the bribe or RM10,000, whichever is higher.

"An individual who beats a traffic light and pays a bribe to escape being given a summons may end up being charged for corruption.

"It is immaterial whether the amount is big or small. As long as one gives, agrees to give or offers any gratification as an inducement or reward for doing or forbearing to do any act in relation to the function of the official, then an offence has been committed," said Abu Kassim.

He said the private sector, too, must draw up guidelines on gifts.

"They must not give gifts to civil servants and politicians. MACC is willing to assist the private sector in formulating guidelines on gifts."
Abu Kassim was saddened by the public's lack of appreciation for action taken by the current and previous administration.

"Many things have been done in the cabinet level committee. Comprehensive guidelines on the receiving of gifts by public servants have been drawn up.

"The principle is that you don't feel indebted to a person who has given you a gift, and any decision made is based on merit," said Abu Kassim.

On the acceptance of gifts, he said the "Guidelines on Giving and Receiving Gifts in Public Service" stated that a civil servant could only accept a gift under certain circumstances and with the approval of his superior.

Civil servants, he said, must avoid accepting any gift unless the non-acceptance would embarrass the giver in the eyes of the public. He must immediately report the gift to his head of department.
Abu Kassim said there was a fine line between a token of appreciation and a bribe.

"If a minister opens a luxury watch shop and receives an expensive watch from the owner, he has to declare the gift to the prime minister."

What about advertisements in newspapers thanking a senior government officer for officiating at an event or opening a store?
The guidelines say: "Public servants are prohibited from allowing congratulatory, thank you or condolence messages relating to the public servant to be printed in newspapers or other forms of mass media by the private sector, societies, organisations, individuals or any other groups of persons."

Abu Kassim said Section 23 of the MACC Act prohibits any officer of a public body from using his position for any gratification.

"If the official has a company, is a major shareholder of a company, or if someone is a proxy for him in a company, it is advisable for him to refrain from any decision-making in areas where a conflict of interest could arise. If he has family members who are eligible to bid for a project, he must declare that his relative is bidding for the project."

What about donations?

"A politician can accept a donation but it should be given to his party. He should ensure that he does not have any dealings with the donor at that particular time."

What this got to do with chess ? Well givers and receivers in chess are no different or .....

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