Economic recovery: Strategic action plan against economic crime needed

FINANCIAL scandals, out-of-control black market and endemic corruption are economic crimes that harm every segment of our society. The Malaysian Government continues to lose billions of ringgit every year to these crimes while the very fabric of our society is threatened by criminal elements and a kleptocracy culture.

Thus, a comprehensive multidisciplinary national strategy and action plan against economic crime are critical to enable post-COVID-19 economic recovery and enhance Malaysia’s appeal in attracting foreign direct investments (FDI), said Datuk Dr Yusoff Nook, the former State Police Chief of Sarawak.

“Economic crime not only causes revenue losses, it also deters foreign investors from investing in Malaysia,” Yusoff pointed out.

He added that potential investors will have to think twice before moving their facilities or business operations into Malaysia due to concerns relating to intellectual property, personnel security and market viability in an environment where the rule of law is perceived to be non-existent.

He also predicts that given the current and potential losses in totality, the cost of economic crime could reach the trillion ringgit mark in the next ten years if it is not contained.

Meanwhile, Malaysia cannot afford economic crime to derail its efforts to turnaround lives and businesses hurt by the pandemic.

“With the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out and the end of the movement control order (MCO) in key cities, we as a country must now focus whole-heartedly on economic recovery,” he opined.

“Thus, now is the ideal time to form a national strategy and action plan against economic crime.”

According to Yusoff, this national strategy and action plan against economic crime must be all-encompassing and developed with the input and recommendations from the relevant enforcement branches, public agencies, as well as the private sector.

In addition, this intiative which must be spearheaded and supported by the highest levels in the Malaysian Government. – March 4, 2021

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