Karim tells why transparency and integrity are vital

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KUCHING: Transparency and integrity need to be stressed in public sector administration, said Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

The Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts said when these attributes are in play, public service operations will run more smoothly and produce more reliable results, thus improving the public’s impression of public sector administration.

He revealed that his ministry had been as one of the six pioneer agencies for the Anti Bribery Management System (ABMS) certification beginning in October.

He said this during the Integrity Day of the Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts held at Borneo Convention Centre on Tuesday.

“Today’s programme is very much in line with our efforts to improve as well as further strengthen the governance and integrity of the ministry in order to live up to the slogan of civil servants, an honour to serve.

“Integrity refers to a fundamentally good quality and trait that both people and organisations possess.

“Integrity in the public sector encompasses many facets of workplace culture, including task commitment, efficient time management, and harmonious working relationships inside the organisation.

“It is not just confined to issues of corruption and compliance with work processes and procedures,” he added.

Furthermore, the responsibility of public officers for the delivery of public services is based on the code of conduct of public officers.

Transparency International Malaysia’s 2021 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) report, published on January 25, this year, placed Malaysia 62nd out of 180 nations, down from 57th place out of 176 in 2020.

“The misuse of public resources for one’s own gain or benefit is the topic of this index, which examines the aspects of corruption in the public sector and among politicians.

“At the same time, Malaysia scored 48 out of 100 in the CPI report from the previous year, compared to 51 in 2020. In comparison to 2019, both placements and the CPl score are down,” he said.

He said because they are the primary drivers of the government, civil servants are the mirror image of any political administration.

In order to protect the government’s reputation, the word government servant must be devoid of impurities, he added.

“Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has ordered to build a Unit within the Department of the Premier of Sarawak that is expressly responsible for integrity and Ombudsman because of how vital the level of integrity is, especially in the State public service.

“As a result, a Special Minister is responsible for overseeing and creating the State Integrity and Ombudsman Unit (UNIONS). The only state in Malaysia that has prioritised Integrity and the Ombudsman from the beginning is Sarawak,” he pointed out.

UNION, which is housed under the Sarawak Premier’s Department, was established in February 2018.

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