Stop meeting for ‘drinks’ with tender applicants, says MACC

MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya says not going out for drinks with interested parties is crucial in ensuring integrity.

CYBERJAYA: Civil servants and those in government-linked companies (GLCs) involved in issuing tenders should stop the culture of “entertainment dealing” – drinking coffee or “teh tarik” with tender applicants, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Latheefa Koya said.

Latheefa said corrupt practice prevention measures like not going out for a drink with interested parties were crucial in ensuring integrity, and not merely a mantra.

She said there were officers who had a tendency to go out and meet potential tender applicants outside of office hours for a drink and to conduct deals.

‘’I don’t mean you can’t meet at all. If an officer has the authority to approve licences or tenders and others, he should not meet with certain people outside (working hours) and say it is merely for a drink,’’ she said.

She said corruption prevention measures must be intensified although the “no gift” policy had been implemented.

Earlier, Latheefa tabled a paper titled “Combating Corruption: Corporate Scandals and Its Challenges” at the Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) Integrity Day celebration here today.

In it, she said 32 of the more than 100 GLCs in the country were categorised as posing high risks of corruption.

“MACC senior officers are stationed at the 32 GLCs concerned while other officers are stationed at GLCs with low and moderate risks. They head the Integrity and Governance Units (IGU) at the GLCs,’’ she said.

In October last year, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had announced that it was mandatory for every GLC to set up the IGU in two years.

In his address, MCMC chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak said the organisation was expected to launch its anti-corruption plan by early next year.

‘’It will involve numerous programmes and training sessions for all staff so that the management, policies and procedures prioritise integrity,’’ he said.