Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mahamad (Source: The Straits Times)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Malaysia on January 29 announced a five-year plan to intensify control over corruption in Government agencies after a multi-billion-USD graft scandal brought down the previous administration.

The plan, launched by Prime Minister Mahathir Mahamad, will include changes to the appointment process for key posts, require lawmakers and ministers to publicly declare their assets, and introduce new laws to regulate political funding and lobbying.

Mahathir said Malaysia needs all kinds of strategies, laws and restrictions to curb corruption.

This plan is a strong statement from the current government that it will track down and prosecute past offenders, while current and future offenders will be facing harsher action, he stated in a speech to launch the new approach to graft combat.

The plan's measures will target the government's procurement process, law enforcement, judiciary, politics and business.

The plan will focus on high-risk practices such as the selling of government contracts to third parties, and the appointment of political operatives to the board of state-linked companies.

Officials studied the 1MDB case closely to design the new anti-corruption plan, said Abu Kassim Mohamed, director-general of the Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre, which drafted the anti-graft measures.

Former Malaysian PM Najib Razak founded the 1MDB investment fund in 2009, supposedly to serve Malaysia’s development through global partnerships and foreign direct investment.

However, it became the centre of a money laundering scandal, allegedly causing losses of up to 3.7 billion USD and leading to probes into the financial markets in several countries such as the US, Switzerland, Singapore, Malaysia and China.

Najib faced with a total of 38 charges of corruption, money laundering and breach of trust since losing power, most of them related to the 1MDB.

After assuming power, Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad declared to give priority to addressing corruption and taking back losses of the fund. The Malaysian government has set up a task force to look into the scandal with help from the US, Switzerland, Singapore, Canada and other countries.-VNA