Sarawak picks ex-MACC official as state integrity chief

Zulhairy  Zaidel (right) handing over documents to his successor as state MACC deputy director Chang Ching, with state MACC director Razim Mohd Noor (centre) witnessing, February 22, 2019.― Picture by Sulok Tawie
Zulhairy Zaidel (right) handing over documents to his successor as state MACC deputy director Chang Ching, with state MACC director Razim Mohd Noor (centre) witnessing, February 22, 2019.― Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, Feb 22 ― The state government has appointed former Sarawak Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy director Zulhairy Zaidel as the first director of the State Integrity and Ombudsman Unit (UNION) in the Chief Minister's Office.

He assumed the duty at the newly established unit on February 11.

“We hope he will discharge his duty for the benefit of the people in Sarawak,” state MACC director Razim Mohd Noor told reporters after witnessing the taking over of duty between Zulhairy and Chang Ching here.

Chang, 40, took over from Zulhairy, 46, as the state MACC deputy director effective February 18.

The two Sarawakian officers both hold the rank of senior assistant commissioners of MACC.

Razim said Zulhairy did excellently on jobs entrusted to him last year, explaining the reason for the state government to accept him to head the unit.

He said the state MACC proposed Zulhairy's name to the state government, which was then scouting around among MACC senior officers to head the just established unit.

“His duties at UNION are almost the same with those of MACC,” he said, adding Zulhairy can take actions against abuse of power by the state government officers, like the use of government vehicles for private use, absent from duties or lack of discipline.

“But if there are elements of corruption in the state departments or ministries, then he will refer the matters to MACC for investigation,” he said.

He said UNION and the MACC will collaborate with each other on matters relating to integrity in the state departments and state government-linked companies (GLCs).

Zulhairy said for now UNION will have 54 Certified Integrity Officers (CIOs) and they will be placed in state departments, state ministries and GLCs.

He said he reports directly to the State Secretary's Office.

“I would like to thank the state government for establishing this unit, the first in the country,” he said, added that in his first year, he will have to do a lot of planning and setting up of the unit.