Penang finally signs anti-corruption pledge

The Penang state government signed the corruption-free pledge today in George Town August 4, 2017. — Picture by Opalyn Mok
The Penang state government signed the corruption-free pledge today in George Town August 4, 2017. — Picture by Opalyn Mok

GEORGE TOWN, Aug 4 — The Penang state government finally signed today an anti-corruption pledge after back-and-forth disagreements with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

The MACC said it believed that Penang’s additional 10 integrity measures to the Corruption-Free Pledge (IBR) that the state signed today not only made it different from other states, but also strengthened the pledge.

MACC chief commissioner Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad said the agency does not have any issue with the addition of the 10 integrity measures.

“The signing of the pledge and the addition of the 10 integrity measures only show the commitment of the state,” he said.

He welcomed other states to adopt additional integrity measures into the pledge.

When asked if the MACC could consider integrating the 10 integrity measures into the IBR, he said it was now too near the general elections.

“After the elections, maybe we will consider integrating additional integrity measures into the pledge and let all states, with the newly elected leaders, sign it,” he said.

To date, Dzulkifli said other states have signed the IBR except for Kelantan and Selangor.

“Kelantan will sign the pledge next week and we are still waiting for Selangor to fix a date,” he said.

Dzulkifli, who had previously questioned Penang for its delay in signing the pledge, today explained that he was eager for Penang to sign the pledge because he was from Penang.

“It would be very embarrassing for the MACC chief commissioner who’s from Penang when his own home state does not sign the pledge,” he said.

Today, the Penang administration, led by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, signed the IBR along with its 10 integrity measures.

The 10 integrity measures include putting in practice the state government’s principles of CAT (competent, accountable and transparent), practising open competitive tenders and institutionalising the public declaration of assets by the chief minister, state executive council members and assemblymen.

Members of the administration are also banned from getting approvals for state land, their families cannot do business or gain contracts from the state government and they are not allowed to receive personal “donations”.

The measures also support full protection be given to genuine whistleblowers, a provision to take action against government leaders who live in luxury beyond their means, and transparency in political contributions.

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