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MyCC probing 47 cases under Competition Act
Published on: Friday, September 26, 2014

KOTA KINABALU: The public, especially business owners are advised to come forward and report to the Malaysian Competition Commission (MyCC) if they knew of any company involved in bid-rigging activities.Domestic Trade, Consumerism and Co-operatives Minister Datuk Seri Hasan Malek said while the commission has not received any report on bid-rigging, it is believed that the activity is quite rampant especially when it involves government contracts.

"Sometimes a work can be done with only RM50million but because of bid-rigging, some understanding between companies submitting their tenders, the price will go up to RM70million.

"We know this is happening but we do not have the evidence to prove our suspicions. We never received any reports," he said during a press conference after launching the 'Help Us Detect Bid Rigging' and the 'Garis Panduan Menentang Tipuan Bida dalam Perolehan Awam' handbooks held by MyCC here, Thursday.

Hasan did not deny the possibilities that those who knew of bid-rigging activities are afraid to come forward and report the matter to the commission for fear of retaliation.

Bid rigging is an offence under Section 4(2)(d) of the Competition Act 2010 enforced by the MyCC and if found guilty, enterprises can be fined up to a maximum of ten per cent of its worldwide turnover.

Hasan revealed that according to the Auditor General's Annual Report, there were numerous incidents where procurements for items, services and works were paid more than market price with sub-standard quality.

"Bid rigging involves not only collusion but might also involve bribery. For example, a business owner conspires with another, asking the latter to send a higher price for a contract while he would offer a lower price.

"In return, if he won the contract, he would give the other business owner certain percentage. In order to cover the cost of the bribe, of course the price will be higher," he said.

The MyCC, he added, was also established to ensure businesses in the country can compete with each other in a healthy environment and therefore benefit the consumers.

Some high-profile anti-competition cases include the attempted price fixing of ice cubes by 26 manufacturers in the peninsula, the memorandum of understanding between Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia and the agreement between bus operators to raise the price of bus fares.

Currently, the commission is investigating a total of 47 cases, mostly allegations of price-fixing.

"I am happy to note that, since MyCC was established in 2011, Malaysia had managed to improve its ranking in terms of business competitiveness to number 20 this year after sitting on number 24 last year.

"In terms of ease of business, we are currently at number six and we are topping the ranks in terms of access to micro-credit.

"But we should not be satisfied with our rankings now and we have to keep improving. I am very confident that we can do this especially with the support of all government departments," he said.

More than 150 participants from various government departments and agencies, including Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) took part in the one-day workshop on bid-rigging.

Also present were MyCC Chairperson Tan Sri Siti Norma Yaakob, the ministry Deputy Secretary-General Dato' Azmi Lateh, MyCC Chief Executive Officer Shila Dorai Raj and State Domestic Trade, Consumerism and Cooperatives Director Severinus Tukah.



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