More certified integrity officers to be trained to strengthen anti-corruption efforts

Abang Johari (third left) presents a certificate to an officer. Also seen are Talib (second left) and Ik Pahon (second right).

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BINTULU, Dec 5: The Sarawak government will continue to produce certified integrity officers to be placed in state ministries, agencies and departments to combat graft and reinforce integrity culture.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg emphasised that Sarawak’s commitment to cultivating a culture of integrity was demonstrated in the setting up of the Integrity and Ombudsman Unit in the Chief Minister’s Office which was headed by Datuk Talib Zulpilip.

“The role of integrity officers are significant for the future of Sarawak as we continue with our development agenda in ensuring accountability, transparency and efficiency in the delivery system of Sarawak.

“I hope the officers will carry out their responsibility diligently in not only enhancing procedures, regulations and Standard Operation Procedures (SOP) of organisations, but also to combat corruption and unethical practices,” he said.

He highlighted this at the closing ceremony of the Certified Integrity Officers (CeIO) programme today which saw the participation of 95 officers.

Abang Johari pointed out that countries like Denmark with high performance and low corruption levels were the most advanced.

“Demark, with a poulation size of five million and land size about that of Sarawak, has a strong financial sector and high income. This is what we want,” he said, adding that Singapore is another example of a progressive and advanced nation in this region.

Even though humans have weaknesses, people must aim to stay on the ethical path by upholding moral and ethical principles and values, he added.

“In the teaching of Islam and all religions in fact, we know we must make an honest living and not by illegal means. Then, God will shower us with blessings and award us in His way, perhaps not in material goods but good health for peaceful living.

“If we make a living by illegal means, we are haunted by the guilt and living in fear if MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) will come knocking on our doors,” he reminded those present.

He thus advised them to not allow themselves to be led into temptation but to lead peaceful lives.

“Whether you wear an expensive watch or a cheap watch, both tell the same time,” he asserted.

“As such, we must continue to uphold our good culture and work with a clear conscience by abiding with the law and regulations. Our state will progress, including increase in revenue.

“And I believe Petronas will pay the sales tax. We just pray and ensure our state is peaceful and development can be achieved,” he added.

With good management of finances and savings, Abang Johari pointed out the state government then can give back to the community accordingly.

“Thankfully we managed to also give RM500 bonus to the federal civil servants. There are about 95,000 staff including teachers, police, and Bomba (firefighters).

“I have discussed and negotiated with my cabinet ministers who supported this, which comes out to about RM45 million. We share our blessings and this is our philosophy,” he added.

Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development Datu Ik Pahon Joyik was also present. — DayakDaily