It has been three years since Section 17A of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 came into effect, with the first charge under the provision made in 2021. The recent array of actions by the MACC coupled with the “zero tolerance for corruption” policy launched by the Madani Government provide a timely reminder of the importance of businesses in (i) reviewing their existing procedures and (ii) ensuring adequate procedures are in place to prevent bribery as they afford the only defense against liability under Section 17A.
On 26 August 2022, the Minister of Human Resources announced a delay to the implementation date of the amendments to the Malaysian Employment Act. The amendments to the EA were originally anticipated to take effect on 1 September 2022, but this has reportedly been deferred to 1 January 2023. The Minister had clarified that this delay would allow employers to focus, in the short term, on recovering from the difficult economic situation arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. This would also, practically, provide a longer runway for employers to assess their employment benefits for compliance under the amended EA.