Indonesia to Bring Home Tax Money Parked in Singapore

As Singapoe and Indonesia are soon to sign a Bilateral Competent Authority Agreement (BCAA) to implement the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEoI) between the two countries, which will enable the Indonesian government to hunt down tax money from Indonesians who have parked their money illicity in Singapore, by enabling the Indonesian government to access the financial data of Indonesians in the neighbouring counrty.

To read more, visit AsiaOne here.

Myanmar: NLD's Civil Service Reforms Aim to Fight Corruption

The National League for Democracy government's civil service reform strategic action plan (2017-2020) puts a strong focus on tackling corruption and working towards decentralization, while encouraging ethical practices in the civil service. The government had shared the plan at a launch event in the capital city of Naypyidaw on the 10th of July 2017.

With Myanmar having about 900,000 civil servants in the various ministries and departments of the government at both the Union and state levelsm the key goals of the strategic action plan are as follows:

  1. Develop new civil service governance
  2. Uphold merit based and performance driven cultures and systems
  3. Enhance people-centered civil service leadership and capacity development
  4. Improvse transparency and accountability within the service.

To read more, visit the Irrawaddy here.

Malaysia: 19 Perak Government Departments & Agencies Sign Corruption-Free Pledge

Roughly 300 staff from 19 departments and agencies of the Perak State Government took an oath and signed the Corruption-Free Pledge (IBR) at the Federal Building on July 11th 2017. 

Some of the departments involved were the Labour Department, Cooperatives Commision of Malaysia, Wildlife and National Park Department (Perhilitan), School Audit Division and the National Civics Bureau (BTN) of the Prime Minister's department. The signing of the pledge is symbolic as it represents the willingness of the individuals and their respective departments to avoid involvement in corruption or abuses of power.

To read more, visit the Malay Online here.

Vietnam: Ho Chin Minh City to Tackle Smuggling and Trade Fraud at Port

Ho Chin Minh City has plans to step up enforcement against smuggling and trade fraud in light of the increasing number of violations at its various ports, especially the Cat Lai Port.

The Cat Lai Port is Vietnam's largest international container port and since early 2015, the Customs Department has detected nearly 500 cases of smuggling and trade fraud occuring in the area. However, according to the Customs Control Division of the City's Customs Department, the number of actual violations are much higher than reported. Part of this comes from a system loophole in the e-customs declarations form which categorises goods into red, yellow and green categories with:

  • Red: Requiring Inspection by a customs officer
  • Yellow: Requiring no inspection and only a document check.
  • Green: Inspection and document checking exemption.

As this system is based around a company's history rather than an overarching system that inspects all imported goods, this creates a massive blind spot for smuggling and corruption to occur.

To read more, visit the Vietnam News Website here.

Malaysia: New Probe on FELDA to Begin

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will open a new investigation paper on the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) according to Chief Commissioner Datuk Dzulkifi Ahmad.

The investigations were initiated as a result of the alleged corruption and abuse of power at the FELDA Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) when its four of its senior members of the management team including the group president and chief executive officer were suspended and given a leave of absence on June 6th, 2017, pending a probe of certain deals under Delima Oil Products Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of FGV.

To read more, visit The Star here.

Myanmar: Government to Implement Mandatory Assets Disclosure for Senior Officers

The Myanmar Government has initiated some bold steps in efforts to stem corruption and improve the efficiency of the civil service by urging senior officers to disclose their assets as a key part of the Civil Service Reform (CSR) strategic action plan.

The plan contains a slew of initiatives aimed at minimising opportunities for bribes. Such as training sessions, whistleblowing mechanisms and more asset disclosure requirements. Part of the challenge that remains ahead for Myanmar however, is that civil servants are largely underpaid and must seek alternative and unethical means to earn a comfortable income.

Setting new standards and more vigorous processes however, might be the start of a long but worthwhile journey to fighting corruption within the Myanmar government.

To read more, visit the Myanmar Times here.

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