CM: Sarawak to include AG, MACC in fight against ‘corruption’ perceptions

Abang Johari delivering his winding-up speech in DUN, as seen in this screenshot from the DUN media feed.

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Nov 14: The Sarawak government will include the Auditor-General (AG) and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in project-award meetings to fight Pakatan Harapan (PH)’s ‘cheap politics’ of creating negative perception against it.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg announced this during his winding-up speech at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) today.

“To further enhance our excellent achievement and good record of governance, I will include the Auditor-General to sit in all our project-award committees and State Tender Board chaired by the State Financial Secretary. I will also invite the MACC to attend our State Tenders Meetings,” he said.

He chided PH for the latter’s fear tactics and for creating the perception that “there is something wrong with the Sarawak government” through unsubstantiated allegations.

“It has been seen and heard that our so-called ‘friends’ on the other side are using scare and fear tactics on the administration of Sarawak by continuously questioning the government and insinuating that the government is corrupt and not transparent.

“Making continuous erroneous allegations and insinuations of corruption on me, my ministers and the state civil servants without any proof or substantiation is to create the perception among the public that there is something wrong with the state government. When they repeat such allegation many times, they are hoping that the people will believe their stories and will vote against the government,” he said.

Abang Johari told the august House that when he took over as the state’s chief executive, his administration had made an integrity pledge that was witnessed by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and head of the MACC.

“We are not stupid, and we do not fear this tactic of the opposition. Ever since PH took over the federal government, they have harped on corruption as a way to bring down leaders. We are not afraid of such tactics, and we are ready to face any issues that the opposition raised to us without fear or favour,” said Abang Johari.

He assured that the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government would not fail the people and would continue to focus on developing the rural and urban areas.

“We will continue to abide by the financial procedures as laid down under the law and the financial provisions of the Treasury. Don’t ever question our integrity and our sincerity,” he said, citing the Sarawak government’s track record for prudent spending that resulted in high state reserves.

He cautioned PH assemblypersons to not simply hurl accusations to create negative perceptions against his administration.

“If you wish to challenge us, challenge us with facts and not simply create perceptions to the public and make character assassination. That is cheap politics.

“I want to call on all Sarawakians not to fall prey to these cheap politics of the opposition. Their objectives are to bring down the government using perception and not using facts because they do not have the facts.

“I am not governing the state for my own personal benefit. This is about our state and our people and our future. This is not a game of cards, and I will not allow this state to be destroyed by cheap politics,” he said. — DayakDaily