Civil service has a problem with integrity, says Ali Hamsa

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PUTRAJAYA: The recent arrests of civil servants by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) does show there is a lack of integrity in the civil service, said chief secretary to the government Ali Hamsa.

However, he said, it was not a big problem although not negligible either and should be a reminder to all other civil servants to stay clean.

“The arrests by the MACC come as a good reminder to civil servants to always maintain their integrity,” he said after presenting excellent service awards to staff of the prime minister’s department here.

MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Azam Baki was reported on March 8 as saying the commission set itself a target of three years to clean up the civil service of elements of corruption, especially in enforcement agencies as well as state and local authorities.

Azam said 665 investigation papers were opened in 2016 through to February this year involving civil servants, resulting in 548 people being arrested and 63 prosecuted in court.

He pointed to the case of the Sabah Water Department in which an officer “slept” with more than RM50 million in his house.

Ali however said the lack of integrity among civil servants was still minor and manageable, and he assured those gathered that the government would not protect anyone who flouted the laws.

“The total number of those arrested comprise a small number of the whole civil service,” he added.