Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah

KUCHING: “When a politician starts to prioritise his own pockets over his responsibility to the people, this is where it (integrity) will go south.”

This was the statement made by Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah when sharing his own views on upholding integrity in serving the people.

Although he did not hint on any particular politician, he admitted that there were “politicians who are hopeless”.

“When they are given the trust to take charge of important positions such as that of a prime minister, ministers and other leaders, they are expected to carry a huge responsibility.

“However, some individuals are looking at the platform as a way for them to think of how they can make profit from certain projects.

“Unfortunately, this happens everywhere in the country and that also explains frog-jumping issues from one party to another,” he said, while adding that such issues were not prevalent in Sarawak.

He said this when officiating the Integrity Day celebration and launching the OACP (Organisation Anti-Corruption Plan) Workshop 2020 programme here on Monday (Sept 21).

Abdul Karim said he felt sad to have to say these things when he is a politician himself but it was important to give out such reminder that integrity must be upheld in all aspects of life for the good of society.

“Well, by saying these things, probably I might be creating more enemies but as leaders, we have to understand that being a politician is not the only career. It is not a career; it is a service to the society.

“If it is time to go, then it is time to go. There’s always other avenues for us to continue serving the society.”

He also mentioned that in the event that his friends committed dishonest acts, he would not go along with it.

“You can be my friend, but in the event that you commit something like that, that is your own problem.

“If anything happens to you and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) comes to look for you, I am not going to be there for you.

“For other matters, I will always be there to defend you. But if it is something related to breach of trust or bribery, do not expect me to be there to defend you.”

Among those present were Youth and Sports Assistant Minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan, the ministry’s acting permanent secretary Nancy Jolhi, Sarawak Sports Corporation chief executive officer Dr Ong Kong Swee, State Youth and Sports Department director Azura Sarbin, State Integrity and Ombudsman Unit (Union) Zulhairy Zaidel and internal auditor Zamzuri Mahdi.