Friday, December 4

PKR stands behind chief minister in fight against corruption

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KUCHING: State PKR stands firmly behind Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem in his effort to curb illegal logging and corruption in the state.

PKR Sarawak chairman Baru Bian said the chief minister’s firm stand on these two issues should be lauded and supported by all Sarawakians as the state had paid a heavy price for corruption and illegal logging over the last few decades.

“It is undeniable that the economy, the environment and the people have suffered heavy losses. In fact, this was one of the major issues we highlighted to the chief minister when PKR leaders had a meeting with him in October this year.

“Therefore I am encouraged by the chief minister’s firm stand on illegal logging and corruption in Sarawak,” he told a news conference at the DUN media centre yesterday.

Baru, who is Ba’ Kelalan assemblyman said it was also encouraging that 21 government agencies, corporations and contractors have signed the Corporate Integrity Pledge on Monday.

“However, it is the implementation of the pledge in their everyday activities that counts and the degree of compliance by these parties remain to be seen. What the chief minister has done is a start, but the results must be seen,” he stressed.

He said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) should take the chief minister’s statement seriously and be given enough resources and protection if necessary to investigate every complaint lodged with them.

“Ultimately, the people will judge for themselves and it is prosecutions and convictions that we want,” he asserted.

In this respect Baru urged the chief minister, while on this mission to protect the rights of Sarawak and Sarawakians, to order a thorough and impartial investigation on the shocking allegations and evidence revealed in the book ‘Money Logging’ by Lukas Straumann which was launched in Kuching recently.

“The scale of corruption exposed is the reason that Sarawak is one of the poorest states in Malaysia despite being wealthy in natural resources. The ‘big fish’ is still swimming freely in cool waters while the smaller fish are feeling the heat. This is the one big thing that has ‘painted a bad name for us internationally’, to borrow the chief minister’s words.

“I would also urge the chief minister to look into the cries of the indigenous people who are struggling so hard to defend their lands against the dam builders. The activities of the various parties involved in clearing the land and building dams and the deals signed between them must be scrutinised for elements of corruption,” he stated.

He said while they were heartened that some steps had been taken in this fight against corruption, the party would continue to be watchful – for concrete steps to be taken, for reports from the MACC and for results to be shown in convictions and restitutions.

He said if all these could be done, state PKR despite being an opposition party, would give Adenan their fullest support and believe other Sarawakians would also do the same.