Malaysia introduces new law to combat corporate bribery

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

The Anti-Corruption Commission (Amendment) Act 2018 was passed by the Senate of Malaysia on 5 April 2018. One of the major amendments is the introduction of section 17A. Modelled on the UK Bribery Act’s corporate offence, it penalises commercial organisations for corrupt acts by associated persons, subject to a reasonable procedures defence.

The legislation is widely drafted and supplements an already broad anti-corruption framework which criminalises the offer and receipt of bribes in the public and private sectors. Since enforcement to date has focused on individuals, the new corporate offence represents an important tool for Malaysia’s domestic enforcement authorities. Whilst it remains unclear when the new Act will come into force (it awaits royal assent), corporates operating in Malaysia should familiarise themselves with the new provisions and ensure they implement adequate compliance procedures.

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