KUCHING, Dec 7 — Sarawak Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah today commended the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) for coming up with an Integrity Policies Book that will serve as a powerful tool to encapsulate its commitment to good governance, transparency and accountability.
He said the comprehensive guide outlines many important aspects of administration and management of important matters.
“These will include STB’s ‘Conflict of Interest’ and ‘Due Diligence’ policies that embody the board’s pledge to uphold the highest standards of integrity in all aspects of your work,” he said during the launch of the book and STB’s Integrity Day here.
He said the “Integrity Policies” are another important step within the five-year STB’s Organisational Anti-Corruption Plan which was launched back in 2022 and aligned with the Sarawak government’s directive for statutory bodies to develop their respective plans.
“This strategic initiative will serve as a robust management tool, anchoring our organisational culture in integrity,” he said.
Karim said the efforts by his ministry and STB in instilling the values of integrity are very much aligned with the state’s establishment of an ombudsman institution to provide independent oversight of its public service agencies.
“When the Sarawak Legislative Assembly unanimously approved the Sarawak Ombudsman Bill on November 20, 2023, Sarawak became the only state in Malaysia to set up an ombudsman institution.
“This will elevate the accountability standards in public administration and enhance transparency and accountability in government agencies.
“This is also to ensure check-and-balance elements are in place and will enable the government to improve its public delivery systems and procedures,” he said.
Speaking to reporters later, Karim described STB as a clean government agency with no reports of abuse of power involving its management and staff to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
He said there were also no reports of STB’s contractors being blacklisted for attempting to offer bribes.
STB chief executive officer Sharzede Salleh Askor said the board has been steadfast in instilling integrity values in its operations, starting with the launch of its Organisational Anti-Corruption Plan (OACP) and Corruption Risk Management (CRM) Plan last year.
She said the plan aims to further strengthen the board’s governance, integrity and anti-corruption controls.
“It is a five-year plan from the year 2021 to 2025 that focuses on four priority areas, namely procurement, financial management, project management and administration and human resource management,” she said.
Sharzede led STB management and staff took a corruption-free pledge before Karim.