Govt integrity must go beyond zero corruption, says Sarawak CM

Sulok Tawie
Abang Johari said corruption and abuse of power are among the social ills that can destroy society, state and country. — Bernama pic

KUCHING, Dec 4 — Datuk Abang Johari Openg said a government’s integrity should not just be measured based on how much corruption and leakages it erases but also on the timeliness in delivering its promises.

The Sarawak chief minister today said he is satisfied with the efforts to ensure that the state service delivery is implemented with full of integrity with the placing Certified Integrity Officers (CIOs) in the state ministries and departments.

“However, the placing of these CIOs in the state ministries and department does not ensure that we will be able to achieve zero corruption, abuse of power and deviation.

“There must be the determination to stay clear from all elements that can derail the delivery system of the state civil service,” he said in his address at the Sarawak Civil Service Day here.

Abang Johari said corruption and abuse of power are among the social ills that can destroy society, state and country.

“Our integrity goes beyond being non-corrupt or free of abuse of power as the people will also judge our integrity and credibility based on our ability to ensure that the development projects we promised are delivered according to the budget and on time.

“Our ability to plan development programmes and run our economy in a structured and forward-looking manner should also reflect our integrity as public officials.

“Civil servants are not just employed to warm their seats or just waiting to be instructed but are expected to help plan and implement development programmes for the benefit of the people,” he said.

The chief minister stressed that the state’s large reserve is a reflection of prudent financial management.

“The clean bill of health of our financial management for 13 or 14 consecutive years is again testimony to our integrity and tactfulness in managing our economy and our finance,” Abang Johari said.

He added that his state government has not forgotten it has a duty to guard the interests of low-income group

“In this context, my Cabinet colleagues and I are especially mindful of the fact that the cost of connecting a service line from the main electricity line to the home of the low-income group is quite substantial, from RM5,000 to RM10,000 or even more.

“There is no way for a poor family in the kampung to afford such an amount unless through government assistance such as the Rural Electricity Scheme or RES.

“That is why we agree that the GPS government will foot the cost of connecting a service line up to RM5,000, starting next year,” he said, stating that the state government pay 70 per cent on any additional cost.

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