By Geryl Ogilvy
KUCHING, Dec 5: Sarawak will not go far if corrupted minds are allowed to run the state, especially those who are self-serving and power-hungry.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said corruption is not neccesarily about money but also lust for position, influence and authority.
He reminded the state civil service and Sarawak leaders of the importance of integrity in carrying out their duties, as well as personal ethics.
When it comes to integrity and being honest in performing their duties to serve the people, Abang Johari said each individual, especially a person in power, must have a strong stand.
People who do things illegally will never find peace despite all their wealth, but those who are honest will be blessed in their endeavours, he added.
“I have served the state government for 38 years. I never expected I would become chief minister.
“Here we don’t fight to become chief minister, unlike certain people who want to be the eighth, ninth, 10th, 11th and so on,” he said when closing the Certified Integrity Officer programme in Bintulu today.
Abang Johari made reference to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is expected to succeed Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the nation’s eighth prime minister.
Anwar was reported as saying on Nov 25, that he has no intention to accept a Cabinet position in the event of a reshuffle. The Port Dickson MP said he had never offered to be a Cabinet member before becoming the next prime minister.
Anwar told this to reporters after launching the Reformist Convention 2019 in Selangor, when asked whether he was interested to join the Cabinet before moving up as the eighth prime minister
At the closing of the convention, veteran reformists released a resolution read by convention chairman, Ijok assemblyman Dr Idris Ahmad, setting a time frame for Anwar to take over the nation’s reins, which must not be later than May 2020.
Abang Johari said when then Sarawak chief minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud stepped down in 2014, he chose the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem as his successor.
At the time, Adenan was information chief of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), the backbone of the state ruling coalition. Abang Johari recalled that everyone threw their support behind Adenan.
“Even though I was the deputy president (PBB) at the time, I did not fight it. When Adenan passed away, we agreed on appointing the most experienced person to take over and that was when my turn came,” he continued.
Abang Johari succeeded Adenan to become Sarawak’s sixth chief minister, following the latter’s demise due to heart complications in January 2017.
“This (becoming chief minister) is a heavy responsibility. If I make the wrong decision, I don’t have another person to refer to,” he said.
Abang Johari said it is important to uphold integrity and instil good values, emphasising on a good life philosophy in daily tasks.
It is the duty of every individual, especially those in power and in government, to look at the laws and always obey the rules when carrying out their duties, he added.
Once the state can stop corruption and leakages, the government can give back to the people especially those in need, he continued.
Abang Johari advised the state’s leaders and civil service to be fair to all people, regardless of background.
Citing the Unit for other Religions (Unifor) as an example, he said Sarawak is the only state in the country to set up a special unit to look after other religions beside Islam.
“We must fair to all people from different background. The Medina Charter calls for fair treatment for Muslims and non-Muslims. With a clean mind, clean heart, we will be able to look after the state and the nation as a whole,” he said. — DayakDaily