PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act should be reviewed to provide for mandatory whipping and jail for offenders. "Corruption is worse than murder or violent crimes and deserves harsher punishment," said Transparency International-Malaysia president Datuk Akhbar Satar. "While murder or other violent crimes often involve a single victim, corruption which involves taxpayers' money is worse as it deprives the masses of a country of a better quality of life," he told theSun yesterday. "It can thwart the development of the infrastructure of essentials such as medical and educational facilities, and as a result, higher taxes are imposed which burden the masses. The growth of a nation and millions of people are affected," he said. "This can be worse than murder and as such, a severe punishment such as whipping should be imposed. It also has caused other issues ranging from environmental degradation, illegal logging to illegal gambling, prostitution and money laundering," he added. Akhbar, who supported MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull's proposal on Sunday that those guilty of graft be caned, said laws of the Penal Code for criminal breach of trust (CBT) and cheating under Section 409 and Section 420 respectively carry whipping as punishment. Former inspector-general of police Tan Sri Musa Hassan also supported Mohd Shukri's proposal of whipping for white-collar crime as it is on the rise. "In fact, if I had it my way, I would propose the death sentence. We need to be serious in stamping out corruption or it will cause lawlessness," Musa told theSun. "Such severe laws should be mainly imposed on corrupt civil servants as they are fully aware of graft being a serious offence. Do not allow the 1% of black sheep who are corrupt damage the image of a whole government agency. Such harsh punishment can be a good deterrent," he said. Musa said the giver or those who offer bribes should not be spared and also face the same penalties as the taker. Meanwhile, in calling for the MACC Act to be reviewed, Akhbar said it should provide for heavier penalties such as mandatory whipping and a minimum two-week jail regardless of the extent of corruption involved. "By comparison, the previous Anti-Corruption Act (ACA) 1997, provides for imprisonment of not less than 14 days and up to 20 years, plus a fine of not less than five times the sum or value of the gratification or RM10,000 whichever is higher," he said. Akhbar also urged judges who preside over graft cases not to be lenient but to mete out severe sentences as the level of corruption in the country is worrying. "Malaysia has fallen further in rank in the Corruption Perception Index from 55 to 62. Although so much money was spent in anti-graft initiatives and prevention, it is at its worst in 25 years," he said. "We need to work together at all levels to eradicate graft. "There should be no leniency. It is learnt that graft in the private sector was equally worrying." According to the Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey 2018, 41% of Malaysian companies reported it had been hit by economic crimes in the past two years – an increase from 28% in 2016.