President Widodo Must Support & Protect the Indonesian Anti-Corruption Agency

Transparency International, along with its Indonesian branch are calling for the second time in two years for President Joko Widodo to publicly commit his support to protecting the KPK' as a series of repeated attepts by the Indonesian Parliament have been made to weaken the agency's independence so it can carry out its work without intimidation.

The attacks on the KPK are likely prompted by recent investigations earlier this year into the illegal procurement of an electronic ID system that implicated a number of lawmakers. Attacks on the KPK included legislation aimed at weakening its powers, including the authority to conduct wiretappings, which is the cornerstone of the agency's success in prosecuting graft cases.

To read more, visit Transparency International here.

Vietnam: New Law to Enable Corrupt Officials to Escape Death Penalty by Paying Back Stolen Money

Amendments to Vietnam's Penal Code which takes effect in January 2018 will enable cooperative suspects of bribery and corruption charges to instead have their death sentence commuted to life imprisonment should they aid investigative teams and return 75% of their illegal earnings.

The law however, proves to be a controversial part of the new penal code. Some lawmakers argue that it would weaken the fight against corruption; one of the main priorities of the Vietnamese Government.

To read more, visit the VN Express here.

Indonesia: KPK to Name New Suspect in e-ID Graft Soon

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has wrapped up its case screening on the electronic identity card (e-ID) graft case and expected to announce new suspect soon.

Up to four individuals have been named suspects in the bribery case, two of which are senior officials at the Home Ministry, one member of the House of Representatives followed by a businessman. The KPK expects to have another suspect and decision by the end of the month.

To read more, visit the Jakarta Post here.

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.

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