Thursday, December 3

Brakes on little napoleons

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Deputy DG calls for whistle-blowers on malpractices in JPJ, says Sarawak ‘clean’

KUCHING: Road Transport Department (JPJ) deputy director-general (Planning and Operations) Datuk Yusoff Ayob has admitted that malpractices occur in Peninsular Malaysia, but Sarawak remains ‘clean’.

He cautioned that unprofessional conduct at JPJ headquarters (HQs) in the country would worsen if driving institutes chose not to report any incidents to the higher authorities. Recalling an encounter at a JPJ HQ in Peninsular Malaysia, Yusoff said a driving instructor had been kept waiting for two hours since 8.30am for the driving test to begin.

“The first driving test was supposed to start at 8.30am, but JPJ exam officers began their work only at 10.30am. When I spoke to the man, he thought I was also one of the instructors there to oversee the driving test. But I asked him why he did not report it to JPJ about the situation. He then replied ‘biasa lah’ (used to it already).

“He even told me, ‘If we report, a lot of our candidates will fail the test. So we need to ‘diam-diam’ (keep quiet) to see a higher success rate’,” Yusoff said when witnessing the signing of Corporate Integrity Pledge (CIP) between state JPJ and 23 driving institutes at the JPJ HQ off Jalan Kuching-Serian here yesterday.

Yusoff stressed that driving institutes must report such unprofessional conduct to the JPJ HQ, otherwise nothing could be done to improve the situation.

“If driving institutes do not report it to us, the problem will go on and on. Well, that is what has happened over there, but I have not received any similar report from Sarawak.”

He said malpract ices at JPJ must be put to an end or the country would risk producing more incompetent drivers, adding: “If driving licences can be bought, our aim of producing competent drivers will not be achieved.”

He was, however, pleased that more driving institutes had joined in signing the pledge to fight corrupt practices in the industry.

He pointed out his office was aware that some JPJ exam officers had been living the high life, and that the post was what most staff dreamt of.

“There was an officer of mine who would take two days of MC and go to the clinic four times every month without fail. So I decided to transfer the officer and make him an exam officer and guess what, this officer had stopped taking MC and going to the clinic. I know some of them are offered ‘rezeki’ (fortune).”

Asserting that all religions do not condone corruption, Yusoff said those who had signed the CIP must stay committed and abide by the fundamental principles of eradicating corrupt practices.

“It is a vow to prevent any abuse of power in your corporation. Integrity is not about how others see you, but the principles you have abided by.

“Corruption is something which all of us fear, but some people still commit it. People who bribe and those who take the bribe, whether willingly and unwillingly are equally wrong.”