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Govt studying framework for Anti-Rent-Seeking Act, Parliament heard

Publish date: Thu, 29 Feb 2024, 02:36 PM

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 28): The government is currently in the process of conducting a study on the framework for the Anti-Rent-Seeking Act, according to the Ministry of Economy.

In a written reply published on Parliament's website on Wednesday, the ministry stated that preparation of the draft of the Act will be carried out by obtaining input from various stakeholders.

"The aim is to gain clear perspectives on the issue related to the ‘Ali Baba' practice, as it involves various sectors and requires appropriate legal action.

"The government aims to present this Act in Parliament by year end," it said, responding to a question from Datuk Dr Alias Razak (Perikatan Nasional-Kuala Nerus) regarding the latest developments in relation to the Act.

In December last year, Economy Minister Mohd Rafizi Ramli said the government was considering an "anti-Ali Baba law" that would allow strict action to be taken against local business licence owners who 'lease' their business licences to foreign workers, without meeting the prescribed conditions.

The Anti-Rent-Seeking Act was mooted, as there are currently no existing laws that can effectively and comprehensively curb such practices. Relevant legislation such as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, the Competition Act 2010, the Companies Act 2016 and existing by-laws are reportedly still insufficient to curb rent-seeking activities.

The Ministry of Economy said such practices can have an adverse impact on the economy, such as increasing operating costs, negatively affecting the quality of products and services, and increasing inequality in society.

The ministry said this in response to Jeli Member of Parliament Zahari Kechik’s question on the rationale for introducing the Anti-Rent-Seeking Act.

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