KUCHING, Feb 11 — Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg confirmed today that a number of corporate figures, politicians and senior state civil servants have recently been called in for questioning by the state Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
He said that they are not suspects, but are merely giving their statements to help MACC in its investigations into corruption reports.
“The state government is monitoring the development closely and we believe that the cases will be dealt with professionally and independently,” he said in his keynote address at an Integrity Forum here.
He said Malaysians should not assume that those questioned by MACC have committed corruption and abuse of power just, adding that there should not be trial by media against these people.
He said that he is aware that netizens have deliberately made wild allegations to destroy the image and reputations of certain people out of jealousy, hatred or being political rivals.
“We must be fair to any accused persons as long as they have not been proven guilty in court of law,” he said.
The chief minister said the state government have taken preventative measures against elements which encourage or give opportunities for corruption to take place.
He said the measures include inculcating high moral values and ethics among all strata of society, starting with government officers and staff.
Abang Johari also welcomed a call by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for states to set up anti-corruption committee.
“With this committee, I am confident that with the commitments of the public sector, the people will be get better service,” he said, adding that government projects and development will be implemented more efficiently, cost effective and completed within the stipulated period.
He said the state government places integrity in the state civil service in high esteemed.
The chief minister also announced that 43 state civil servants will be trained and certified as integrity officers by MACC.
He said they will later be attached to various state miniseries, government departments and government-linked companies as a measure to combat corruption.
Abang Johari said a senior MACC officer will be attached to the Integrity and Ombudsman Unit in the Chief Minister’s Department.