State Secretary Mohd Morshidi Abdul Ghani has warned of “dire consequences” if civil servants in Sarawak fail to uphold their integrity pledges.
“Integrity is an integral part of our commitment,” he told the Borneo Post. “We will promote and inculcate integrity as the core value in the civil service.”
The newspaper had invited reactions from opinion leaders in Sarawak following the Water Department scandal in Sabah, where two top officials are said to have amassed tens of millions in cash and properties.
Morshidi was referring to the integrity pledge, introduced by Chief Minister Adenan Satem for his Cabinet and the civil service. “The Sarawak Government is serious in promoting integrity,” he assured.
The State Secretary did not specifically touch on the Water Department scandal in Sabah.
Senior Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) lecturer Jeniri Amir said Adenan had stressed on good governance and had put his administration on the right footing.
“By getting his Cabinet and civil servants to take the integrity pledge, Adenan has come clean,” the Borneo Post quoted Jeniri as saying. “That’s why he has a high public approval rating.”
Temenggong Vincent Lau Lee Ming was less enthusiastic than Jeniri.
Lau warned the scandal in Sabah would affect Malaysia’s image as well, and by extension Sarawak.
“Something is very wrong with the system,” he said. “The system is faulty, creating opportunities for abuse.”
The answer lies in checks and balances, according to the Temenggong Vincent. “The Government must prevent funds from being siphoned out.”
He prefers a water-tight graft prevention machinery compared with integrity pledges. “Such pledges could be just for show.”
President of the Federation of Chinese Associations, Kuching and Samarahan, Richard Wee, however, does not expect the graft bust in Sabah to have any major impact on Sarawak.
On Oct 4, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission detained the duo in Sabah and seized RM114.5 million from them, for alleged abuse of power involving infrastructure projects. They also recovered jewellery and land grants worth tens of millions.
It is the biggest graft case in the history of the MACC.
FMT Reporters Online