Press Statement By Lim Guan Eng In Petaling Jaya On 11.2.2008:
The Prime Minister Should Lodge A Corruption Report Against Those Who Offered Him Money As Failure To Do So Is An Offence Under Section 17 Of The 1997 Anti-Corruption Act
DAP urges Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to lodge a corruption report against those who offered him money as failure to do so is an offence under section 17 of the 1997 Anti-Corruption Act. Abdullah was reported by the New Straits Times on 9.2.2008 whilst attending the Penang Chinese Town Hall’s Chinese New Year open house that,
“I have not benefited one sen from anyone for what I have done. Some people want to give me money but I don’t need it. The government takes good care of its prime minister.”
DAP is shocked that “some people” dares to offer to give money to the top leader of our country. Wanting to give money to the Prime Minister is no different from corruption. Is corruption so endemic that those who subvert integrity are so bold as to attempt to bribe the Prime Minister? No wonder Malaysia has slipped under the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (CPI) from No. 37 when he took over as Prime Minister in 2003 to No. 43 last year.
DAP is extremely disappointed that Abdullah did not take any action against those who attempted to bribe him. Under Section 17 of the Anti-Corruption Act he has a statutory duty as a public officer to report bribery transactions.
17(1) Any officer of a public body to whom any gratification is given, promised, or offered, in contravention of any provision of this Act shall report such gift, promise or offer together with the name, if known, of the person who gave, promised or offered such gratification to him to the nearest officer of the Agency or police officer.
17(2) Any person who fails to comply with subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or to both.
These are severe penalties for failure to comply with the law in reporting bribery transactions. But many do not bother to do so. By failing to file reports with the ACA, Abdullah is not only failing to uphold the law he is also indirectly encouraging corrupt practices by failing to check the actions and act against the corrupt.
DAP urges the Prime Minister to reaffirm his commitment towards establishing integrity and battling corruption everywhere and anywhere. By complying with Section 17 of the Act, Abdullah would encourage many other public officers who have been offered money to follow suit. Only by taking the lead in reporting such attempts to give him money and arresting the culprits, can we effectively combat corruption from the highest levels.