The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has been persistent in its efforts to combat corruption in Malaysia. This includes the amendment of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 (amendment 2018) to insert a new section known as Section 17A.


1. Q: What is Section 17A?
  A: A commercial organization commits an offence if a person associated with the commercial organization corruptly gives, agrees to give, promises or offers to any person any gratification whether for the benefit of that person or another person with intent-
  1. to obtain or retain business for the commercial organization; or
  2. to obtain or retain an advantage in the conduct of business for the commercial organization.
    Source: Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (Amendment) Act 2018
    In summary, a commercial organisation together with its “directors, controller, officer, partner or person who are “concerned in the management of its affairs, are deemed to commit an offence and be liable for the corruption committed by any of their employees or associates which benefits the organisation unless proven otherwise. This is also known as “CORPORATE LIABILITY”

2. Q: What is the penalty if an organisation is found guilty?
  A: Any organization who commits an offence shall be liable to a
  1. fine not less than 10 times of the value of the gratification or Ringgit Malaysia 1 million (whichever is higher); or
  2. Imprisonment for not more than 20 Years; or
  3. Both
3. Q: How can a commercial organization defend itself?
  A: A commercial organization is required to show that proper and adequate procedures have been implemented by the organization in accordance with the “Guidelines on Adequate Procedures pursuant to Section 17A (5) of MACC” released by the Prime Minister’s Department.

The guideline assists a commercial organization to understand the appropriate adequate procedures needed to be implemented to fight against corruption.

The guideline can be downloaded here: Adequate Procedure Guideline

4. Q: What are the few procedures a commercial organization can implement?
  A: i. Structure or review anti-corruption policies and procedures
ii. Create special whistle-blower channel and policies
iii. Develop procedures and plans in fighting against the corruption
iv. Creating awareness among employees by conducting trainings and seminars.

5. Q: Why is it important for a commercial organisation to comply with Section 17A MACC?
  A: The introduction of this new section imposes a strict liability not only on the organisation but also imposes personal liability on directors and corporate officers of the commercial organisation. This means that PROOF OF THE INTENTION AND KNOWLEDGE of the commercial organisation’s directing team is NOT REQUIRED, it is sufficient to prove that the commercial organisation committed the offence.



As the proverb goes “Prevention is Better than Cure”, we encourage all the top-level management to get into action immediately by ensuring that anti-corruption measures are practised within the organisation to enable it to raise a strong defence to any allegation of corruption. The organisation is recommended to obtain legal advice on the appropriate practices and procedures under Section 17A, as to reduce risk facing due to corruption. Let’s practice Good Governance.


Note: We welcome any questions or enquiries about Section 17A. Please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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