Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) chairperson Annuar Musa today cautioned the statutory body’s staff against falling into the trap of corruption.

Alluding to the recent series of high-profile crackdowns by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), he said it was “not worth it” to get involved in any form of corruption.

“We may think we can (initially) get away with it (corruption), but people say we cannot get away with it all the time.

“So it is not worth it to break the law. It is not worth it to practise corruption. It is not worth it to sacrifice your integrity,” Annuar stressed during an event held at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur, in his maiden address to Mara officers for this year.

He also said his often repeated advice was given based on his own personal experience being investigated for alleged corruption by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA), the predecessor of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

In 2002, during Annuar’s tenure as the rural and regional development minister, he was  investigated over alleged corruption involving more than RM30 million allocated for the Projek Pembangunan Rakyat Termiskin (PPRT).

‘Wolves surrounding us’

Annuar also cautioned the gathered staff against falling prey to “wolves” who are out to surround those in power for their personal benefits.

“I always say that once we get in power, there will be ‘wolves’ surrounding us. They will make all sorts of proposals for their own benefits.

“Sometimes unwittingly we will fall into their trap,” he said.

Annuar also stressed that he has never been involved in the process of awarding tenders.

“In this three or four years that I have led Mara, I was never involved with any tender process.

“I don’t even know what tender is being discussed or when the tender committee meets,” he said, adding that all authority lies with the Mara council.

At a press conference later, Annuar said the issue of corruption lies mainly with the individual but there are government circulars and procedures in place for tenders involving statutory agencies including Mara.

He explained that all tenders valued above RM20 million will be decided by a committee chaired by the ministry’s secretary-general, while all tenders valued below RM20 million will go through a committee chaired by the related agency’s director-general.

– M’kini