KUCHING (Nov 24): Sarawak will continue to strengthen its integrity system to boost investors’ confidence in the state, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
He said the investors want assurance that their investments in the state are being managed well.
“If we have an efficient and sustainable integrity system, investors will have our trust and place their substantial investment with us,” he said when officiating at the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) Integrity Day at a hotel here today.
Abang Johari reasoned that integrity is the key to sustainable economic development which in turn would generate not only income but also contribute to creation of jobs and strong fiscal economy, thereby providing prosperity to Sarawak.
He also reminded that Sarawak is the first state in Malaysia to enact the ombudsman law that would be impactful on the state government leadership.
The law would contribute to instilling integrity culture in the state administration.
This means, there would always be a legal framework that is enforceable in state administration, he said.
However, he added, the ombudsman law is limited to state civil servants and would ensure that the state government is transparent and has good governance.
Abang Johari said even though the ombudsman law does not encompass state ministers and deputy ministers, they would also be prosecuted under other laws when there is sufficient evidence against them.
“What is important now is to have a clean government full of integrity,” he added.
Meanwhile, SEDC Chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Husain said this year SEDC has been shortlisted as Top 5 agency for the Anugerah Integriti, Governans dan Antirasuah (AIGA) 2023 award at the national level.
“It shows our serious effort together to ensure our governance and compliance are at the highest level,” he said.
Integrity, he said, is not just about avoiding corruption, embezzlement, or fraud as it is also about fostering a culture of accountability, where personnel take responsibility for their actions, decisions, and their consequences.
“It’s about treating each other, our stakeholders, and our environment with respect and dignity. It’s about ensuring that our processes are fair and that opportunities are open to all without discrimination,” said Aziz.
“In our quest for economic development, we cannot compromise our integrity. We must remember that every unethical decision we make has a ripple effect that can harm not only the organisation but also the communities we serve.
“The success we achieve through dishonesty or shortcuts is fleeting and ultimately damaging,” he said.
SEDC is unwavering in its commitment to integrity, he added.
“We have put in place strong governance mechanisms, policies, and training programs to ensure that all our staff understands the importance of this value.
“We will continue to emphasize ethical behaviour and hold ourselves accountable for any lapses,” he said.
Also present at the function was Deputy Minister in the Sarawak Premier’s Department (Integrity and Ombudsman) Datuk Dr Juanda Jaya.