You can be honest with me, Shafie tells civil servants

Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal says the state’s government officers are the driving force of its economy.

KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Shafie Apdal today urged Sabah’s civil servants to be committed to the aspirations of the Parti Warisan Sabah-led administration, saying it placed the interests of the people at the forefront of its agenda.

He said government workers should be honest with him by voicing out any impropriety in procedure to prevent corruption from destroying the public sector as it would cause the people to suffer.

“Civil servants must be brave on what they stand for. Point out if leaders stray because otherwise a highly corrupted government will emerge. We need to be an example to others,” he said.

The Warisan president said civil servants needed to understand the separation of powers between the different arms of the government so as not to infringe on someone else’s domain.

“There must be clear separation of powers to ensure smooth running of the service.

“Otherwise there will be cases of infringement where one person decides to execute a task which should have been another person’s job,” he said at a farewell reception for former state secretary Sukarti Wakiman who recently retired.

Shafie said the civil service’s immense contributions as the administrative arm of the state formed the driving force of its economic growth.

He said they had played a key role together with the founding leaders of the country to help shape Malaysia to what it is today.

He said India and African countries that had been colonised by European powers in the past had acknowledged Malaysia to be an economic tiger largely due to its civil service.

Shafie also thanked Sukarti for dedicating more than 40 years to the Sabah civil service.

He said he appreciated Sukarti’s advice and cooperation to him since he took over as chief minister.

“There have been times when he advised me on what can be done so that this new government can rule the state in accordance with the law,” Shafie said.

In his speech, Sukarti thanked the state civil service which has more than 130,000 employees for the support rendered to him.

He said the public sector was resilient and dynamic enough to continue serving well under the new government and to give its cooperation to his successor Hashim Paijan.

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