Sarawak Premier affirms ombudsman law doesn’t exempt ministers from abuse of power allegations

Abang Johari (centre) received a memento at the SEDC Integrity Day at Riverside Majestic Hotel.

KUCHING, Nov 24: Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg asserts that members of administrations, including ministers and deputy ministers, are not exempt from investigation under ombudsman law if allegations of abuse of power arise.

Abang Johari clarified that while ombudsman laws do not directly apply to members of administrations, other existing laws in the country would allow for investigations into any allegations against them.

“But it has to be evidence-based,” he emphasised.


Abang Johari addressed this clarification in response to inquiries about why members of administrations are not covered by ombudsman law.

He highlighted that if there is enough evidence to support allegations of abuse of power by members of administrations, they will be investigated under different laws.

“As such, you cannot go away from this.”

Abang Johari cited an example, “If a minister or deputy minister gives an order, and ombudsman law exempts them, but if there is legitimate evidence of abuse of power, another law can be invoked to investigate the person giving the order.

“Nobody is exempted from this, even though the ombudsman law is for the civil service; we have other laws. If there is legitimate evidence that the member of the administration gave the order, you cannot escape,” he clarified.

Abang Johari made these remarks during the SEDC Integrity Day at Riverside Hotel today, expressing the Sarawak government’s commitment to a clean government and emphasising action over mere rhetoric.

“We want a government that is clean. We don’t jyst talk. We walk the talk. That is the Sarawak government,” he stated.

Abang Johari criticised those who engage in empty talk about his administration, emphasising that Sarawak is the first in the country to implement such laws.

He highlighted the importance of progress under a transparent and effective administrative system.

Deputy Minister of Ombudsman Datuk Dr Juanda Jaya, Sarawak Economic Development Corporation Chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Abdul Aziz Husain, and Founder and President of the Malaysian Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Dato Sri Akhbar Satar were also present. — DayakDaily