Hornbill Unleashed

October 12, 2016

Baru: Integrity pledges good, action on graft better

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:03 PM

baru-macc-1Actions speak louder than words, said Sarawak opposition head Baru Bian, with reference to Chief Minister Adenan Satem’s often-hailed integrity pledges.

Integrity pledges were good, he conceded, “but it is an indictment of our moral and ethical decay that the chief minister should require ministers and civil servants to sign such a pledge”.

Integrity, Baru said, was an innate trait that an individual either possessed or did not. “Signing a pledge does not imbue a person with integrity.”

He was commenting on a Borneo Post report which had asked the opinion of several Sarawak leaders if the multi-million ringgit scandal at the Water Department in Sabah would have an impact on Sarawak.

Many of those who had spoken mentioned the civil servants’ integrity pledges as a good sign that Sarawak was on the right track.

Baru, the Ba Kelalan Assemblyman and a senior lawyer, pointed out that numerous reports had been lodged with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) against top government officials in Sarawak but no action had been taken.

“The MACC in Sabah said the wealth of the two officers involved was not commensurate with their salaries,” said Baru who also heads PKR Sarawak.

“Is the reported RM64 billion wealth of the former chief minister (Sarawak) commensurate with his salary?” he asked.

The banned news portal Sarawak Report carried a wealth of information about corruption in Sarawak, he recalled, “before switching focus to the 1MDB scandal”.

“The law must not be applied selectively,” he said.

When people were not treated equally, warned the lawmaker, the public would be sceptical about the action against the four people in Sabah.

“Perhaps the two civil servants in Sabah can also claim they received donations from mysterious benefactors,” he mocked.

Saying the Sabah case had an impact on the people’s perception of the Government, Baru added: “One could say that nobody is surprised anymore about corruption scandals.”

FMT Reporters Online

1 Comment »

  1. IPOH: Beauty products entrepreneur Datuk Seri Hasmiza Othman, better known as Dr Vida, was charged in the Sessions Court here with 16 counts of failing to make payments for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) totalling about RM4.2mil.

    She was also charged with another 16 counts of failing to submit the GST statements to the Customs Department.

    The 45-year-old owner of Vida Beauty Sdn Bhd pleaded not guilty, and claimed trial to the charges before judge Murtazadi Amran.

    Dressed in a black jubah and maroon tudung, Hasmiza arrived at the court premises at 9am Thursday in her white Toyota Vellfire with hordes of media photographers gathered there.

    Hasmiza was charged with failing to make payments and producing the statements for the taxable period between April 1, 2015, and July 31, 2016.

    The offences were allegedly committed at the GST Division, Wisma Kastam, No 1, Jalan Tun Abdul Razak.

    The charges under Section 41(7) and Section 41(6) of the GST Act 2014 provide a maximum fine of RM50,000 or three years imprisonment, or both, upon conviction for each charge.

    Customs Department deputy public prosecutor Farah Ezlin Yusop Khan requested a bail of RM100,000 for each of the 32 charges, and for Hasmiza to surrender her passport to the court.

    Her counsel Khairilazwar Khalil requested bail to be set at RM3,000 for each charge, and for the court not to keep her passport as his client had to travel overseas often due to the nature of business.

    For failing to make the GST payments, Judge Murtazadi set bail at RM60,000 for each charge, while for failing to submit the statements, bail was set at RM50,000 for each charge.

    In total, Hasmiza was required to pay a total bail of RM1.76mil.

    Judge Murtazadi also told her to surrender her passport to the court. Next mention date was set on Nov 15.

    Comment by Zuan — October 13, 2016 @ 6:39 PM | Reply

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