Thursday, May 23

Civil servants warned to always keep integrity pledge or pay dearly

Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohd Morshidi Abdul Ghani

Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohd Morshidi Abdul Ghani

KUCHING: State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohd Morshidi Abdul Ghani has warned the state’s civil servants that failure to fulfil their integrity pledge will bring about dire consequences.

He reminded them of the integrity pledge they had made in the presence of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem and that the state government was serious in promoting the value in the civil service.

“The chief minister has made this an integrity pledge for his ministers and so have the civil servants. If anyone is found not fulfilling this pledge, they will have to pay the price.

“It is important that integrity is the integral part of our culture and commitment and we will continue promoting and inculcating this culture as our core values in the civil service,” Mohd Morshidi told The Borneo Post yesterday.

He asked to comment on the recent alleged graft case in Sabah where the director and deputy of the state’s Water Department were found possessing cash, valuables as well as land titles and luxury cars that are far beyond their means as head and deputy head of a department.

Meanwhile, senior lecturer of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) Dr Jeniri Amir believed that the case would not have a negative impact on Sarawak and its politics because Adenan had led his cabinet, state assemblymen as well as civil servants in taking the integrity pledge.

On separate occasions in late 2014 and beginning of last year, Adenan had his ministers pledge not to have their immediate families apply for state land and timber concessions. For civil servants involved in enforcement, the chief minister also had them pledge integrity in exercising their duties.

“By asking his ministers, assemblymen and civil servants to make the integrity pledge, Adenan has come clean in terms of good governance and put Sarawak on the right footing. That was why he was given a high approval rating by the public,” said Jeniri.

Apart from that, he said Sarawak had been exercising transparency in awarding projects, resulting in no big corruption cases in the state.

“With Adenan’s preventive measures against corruption, I believe the case will have no impact on Sarawak, in terms of politics,” said Jeniri.

However, Dong Zong (United Chinese School Committees Association) president Temenggong Datuk Vincent Lau Lee Ming was not as optimistic as Jeniri. He believed that whatever happened in Sabah would adversely affect the image of Malaysia where many had lost confidence in the government, including Sarawak.

“Whatever happened shows that something is very wrong with the system. When the system is faulty, it will create opportunities for abuse. If government’s machinery has been sound, something like this would not have happened.

“The government really needs to look into its machinery and tighten it up to ensure that the system is full proof. Some kind of check and balance must be installed within the government to prevent huge funds from being siphoned off like that,” said Lau.

Between integrity pledge and air-tight graft prevention machinery, Lau preferred the latter, saying integrity pledge could just be a show.

On the other hand, Federation of Chinese Associations, Kuching and Samarahan Divisions president Datuk Richard Wee believed that the Sabah graft case would have no major impact on Sarawak. “It will only manage to make some talking points and not major impact on Sarawak.  If the general election were to be called next year, Sarawak which has a tendency of returning good results (for BN) will not be affected by the issue.”

He pointed out that because Sarawak could still deliver its seats to BN while there were uncertainties in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah, Sarawak had a high possibility of becoming the king-maker in the next general election.