NEWS

 

TITLE: Keynote Address by YBhg Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed, Director General, National Centre For Governance, Integrity & Anti-Corruption (GIACC), Prime Minister’s Department

DATE: 07/03/2019

KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY

YBHG TAN SRI ABU KASSIM MOHAMED

DIRECTOR GENERAL

NATIONAL CENTRE FOR GOVERNANCE, INTEGRITY & ANTI-CORRUPTION (GIACC), PRIME MINISTER’S DEPARTMENT

AT

THE GOVERNANCE SYMPOSIUM 2019 – Building a Governance Eco-system

7 MARCH 2019 (THURSDAY), PETALING JAYA

Salutations:

  • Yang Berusaha Encik Salihin Abang, President, Malaysian Institute of Accountants
  • Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Yusli Mohamed Yusoff, President, Malaysian Institute of Corporate Governance
  • Officers of Malaysian Institute of Accountants and Malaysian Institute of Corporate Governance
  • Distinguished Panellists
  • Ladies & Gentlemen

Assalammu’alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh and Good Afternoon.

1. INTRODUCTION
 
1.1. It is a great pleasure to be here today at the Governance Symposium 2019. My appreciation and thank you to the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) and the Malaysian Institute of Corporate Governance (MICG) for the invitation, and opportunity to deliver the keynote speech at this auspicious event
1.2. Governance is certainly very important in this world of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity (VUCA). Good governance encourages better organisational decision-making, and accountability for the efficient stewardship of resources and revenue. Good governance is also characterised by robust scrutiny, which provides significant pressure for improving organisational performance, particularly the Government and public sector performance
1.3. Effective governance supports the entire organisational cycle, by improving strategic planning, resource utilisation, value creation, accountability, and assurance. In this sense, the Government is pursuing a holistic approach, to ensure that governance is not “bolted on” but “built in” and integrated into all aspects of the public sector and government. By doing this, the Government hopes to create momentum for change to make the transition from a kleptocratic administration to a corrupt free nation. Hence, the Government embarked on initiatives to ensure that the nation is known for its integrity and not for its corruption
   
2. NATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION PLAN (PLAN)
 
2.1. Ladies and gentlemen, key to building a governance ecosystem is to have a strategy for governance and to execute that strategy effectively as we go forward. Hence, the Government launched the National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP) on 29 January 2019. The NACP is not owned, nor does it belong to the government, GIACC or MACC or any specific entity or group. The real owners are the citizens of Malaysia. It is the aspiration of all walks of life in this beloved country to transform Malaysia into a corrupt-free nation. The NACP is the continuity of the National Integrity Plan (NIP) (2004) and Government Transformation Programme (GTP) (2010) (2012) and the completeness of the previous plans. The plan had a real objective of eradicating corruption, which is the present key issue, while ensuring high integrity and governance, with elements of monitoring and evaluation by GIACC
2.2. I wish to emphasize here, that the NACP was drawn and developed with data gathered from various sources, and had taken into consideration domestic and international findings. One specific element in developing this NACP is the use of foresight methodology called ‘scenario planning’ to anticipate the likelihood of the scenario of outcome in 2030. Our international counterparts, who had perused this NACP, had commended the initiative and were impressed with the methodology used. The use of foresight element in developing NACP is the first of its kind
2.3. Data from various sources, risk assessment and literature review gathered from many reports, paved the way in identifying the six strategies and the six priority areas to achieve the three goals with the vision – Towards a Corrupt-Free Nation. The NACP had identified 115 initiatives, which have been formulated into short, medium and long-term targets. The NACP has also identified 22 priority initiatives that have high impact and less complexity, and high impact and high complexity. These priority initiatives fit the six strategies namely:
 
2.3.1. Strengthening political integrity and accountability;
2.2.2. Strengthening the effectiveness of public service delivery;
2.3.3. Increasing the efficiency and transparency in public procurement;
2.3.4. Enhancing credibility of legal and judicial system;
2.3.5. Institutionalising credibility of law enforcement agencies; and
2.3.6. Inculcating good governance in corporate entity.
2.4. In ensuring the successful implementation of the NACP, there will be a Directive from the Prime Minister, which includes the role of ministers, secretary-generals and head of departments, including that of Integrity Units in all the organisations. This directive is another step in ensuring successful implementation of the strategies within the NACP. There were no such directives in the implementation of the NIP and the GTP previously
2.5. In furthering the NACP nationwide, each and every organisation will have to formulate and develop their respective Organisational Anti-Corruption Plan (OACP). The organisations include ministries, departments and organisations down the line. The organisations will formulate and develop their respective OACPs with data and corruption risk analysis conducted in their environment. The OACP will be developed in line with and supportive of the NACP
2.6. The NACP will also evolve with time as circumstances change. What is contained in the plan is not final or sacred. From time to time, we will evaluate and revise, and possibly add or take out what we are planning now, depending on the current situation. This is a living document that belongs to all of us; by that, I mean that each Malaysian has ownership. The onus is on all of us to be responsible for implementing the principles of integrity and accountability and good moral behaviour as embedded in the NACP. Every government and private agency thus has a role to play in addressing problems of corruption, integrity and governance for the next five years, with a target of stamping out corruption by 2023
 
3. GIACC AND FUNCTION
 
3.1 The National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption or in-short called GIACC, was established by the government as a commitment to ensure coordination in the fight against corruption and to achieve the goals as planned
3.2 The GIACC is focused on six functions – advisory, planning, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and reporting. However, the GIACC does not control the independency of the relevant authorities, especially the MACC. The GIACC plays a pivotal role in ensuring a holistic implementation of coordinated initiatives in the fight against corruption, with emphasis on the monitoring and evaluation of the initiatives
3.3 The GIACC also plays the role of secretariat to the Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption, in short known as JKKMAR – Jawatankuasa Khas Kabinet Mengenai Anti-Rasuah. The committee is being chaired by the YAB Prime Minister with the YAB Deputy Prime Minister as the Deputy chair and the members include senior ministers representing the coalition parties, and all Secretary Generals of ministries, the Chief Secretary to the Government, Auditor General, Attorney General and the Chief Commissioner of MACC
3.4  For the first six month of its establishment, JKKMAR presided once a month and now it is scheduled for once in every two months. There were many policy decisions since then. To name a few:
 
3.4.1. Parliamentary Select Committee to take over the role of Special Committee on Anti-Corruption as an independent body monitoring the MACC at Parliamentary level;
3.4.2. Politicians are abstained from being appointed as chair person or a member of the Board of Directors in Government-linked Companies (GLCs) and State Enterprises (SEs);
3.4.3. Improvement in asset declaration policy by members of the administration and Members of Parliament. A copy of the declaration is submitted to the MACC for their perusal. Thus far, the aggregate income and the aggregate value of assets owned are published in the portal. The public now have access to the information. You may also view the ministers and parliamentarians’’ income and assets by visiting https://mydeclaration.sprm.gov.my ;
3.4.4 Approval for a political funding bill, which is now in the drafting stage, to enhance the integrity of the country’s political system;
3.4.5. Improvement on the mechanism pertaining to the acceptance of gifts, entertainment and payments by members of the administration and civil servants;
3.4.6. Members of the administration can no longer issue supporting letters on any projects or application affairs;
3.4.7. Formulating a law for Misconduct of Public Office that enables punitive actions against officers who deliberately cause leakages and wastage of Government funds;
3.4.8. Restoring the integrity of Parliamentary institution;
3.4.9. Strengthening the independence of the National Audit Department;
3.4.10. Establishing the National Financial Crime Centre;
3.4.11. Strengthening the integrity of the Public Service in improving the promotion process of senior civil service officials.
   
4. ROLE IN REALISING NACP
 
4.1. Ladies and gentlemen, the GIACC welcomes cooperation from all quarters, by playing their respective roles in realising the NACP. Therefore, I commend the MIA and the MICG for stepping up to create awareness and educating accountants, finance professionals, governance professionals and directors on how they should comply with changing legislations and other reforms to create an environment of good governance
4.2. The tone at the top is critical to fighting corruption, so the involvement and participation of directors and decision-makers in today’s Symposium is commendable. Leaders across the public and private sector must show their commitment against corruption at the outset, and this must be cascaded downwards throughout the various sectors, organisations and every family unit in the community at large. I mention family because parents are crucial in inculcating a proper moral and ethical code in children. Good behaviour begins at home and in schools
4.3. We will also be infusing education on corruption to schools, teachers and institutes of higher learning. We appreciate the proactive role by MIA and MICG by working with secondary schools and institutes of higher learning to impart the message of integrity, accountability and trust to potential future accountants and governance professionals
4.4. Ladies and gentlemen, all public and private sector entities have their own roles to play in upholding governance in the new Malaysia. Therefore, I commend MIA as the developer and regulator of the accountancy profession and MICG, the leading advocate for corporate governance, for urging organisations here in Malaysia to evaluate and improve their governance arrangements in order to achieve more sustainable social, environmental, and economic performance
4.5. I am pleased to note that the MICG in collaboration with its partners, The ICLIF Leadership and Governance Centre and Trident Integrity Solutions, have developed and launched the Pathway to a Governance Practitioner Programme. This Programme will help to develop a pool of professional governance practitioners for the country
4.6. Indeed, accounting professionals play a tremendous role in good governance. You are the gatekeepers of governance and financial reporting. In your roles as decision-makers and influencers in the public and private sector, accountants are typically involved in planning, implementing, executing, evaluating, and improving governance in your organisations. You also play advisory roles to organisations seeking advice from their accountants on how to improve their governance and compliance. This puts accountants in an excellent position to ensure that governance is integrated throughout an organisation—into its very DNA – as championed by the NACP
   
5. CONCLUSION
 
5.1. Ladies and gentlemen, to reiterate my earlier remarks, applying the principles of transparency, accountability, and integrity and upholding the rule of law, as well as compliance with good governance will be the foundation in our efforts to eradicate corruption, and shape a corruption-free ecosystem that will benefit our country and future generations
5.2. In ending my remarks, I wish to call upon all of you as leaders and decision-makers in the public and private sector, whether in public interest entities, state-owned enterprises or non-governmental organisations, to come together in our effort to fight corruption and rebuild the nation
5.3. We must embed in the collective minds of all Malaysians that it is critical for us to combat corruption and to build a robust governance ecosystem if we want to achieve developed nation status. By enhancing integrity, accountability and trust to build a better governance ecosystem, we can protect the rights of the people, stop leakages of public funds, strengthen national security and spur economic growth and social development to support nation building

Thank you!