29 June 2020

On 1 June 2020, section 4 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (Amendment) Act 2018 came into operation. The provision introduces a new section 17A to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, which imposes liability on a commercial organisation where a person associated with that commercial organisation gives, agrees to give, promises or offers to any person any gratification with the intent to obtain or retain business, or to obtain or retain an advantage in the conduct of business. The term “commercial organisation” includes Malaysia incorporated companies and also commercial organisations incorporated outside Malaysia that carry on business or any part of a business in Malaysia. Section 17A allows commercial organisations to assert a defence of demonstrating that adequate procedures are in place to prevent the associated persons from undertaking such conduct. The penalty under the new section 17A is a fine not less than 10 times the sum or value of the gratification or RM1 million, whichever is higher, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 20 years, or a combination of both.