Election candidates must have integrity, says Sarawak assistant minister

Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg (centre) after delivering a keynote speech on integrity.

KUCHING: A Sarawak assistant minister says the integrity of candidates planning to contest elections must be considered an important criterion, amid the furore over the academic credentials of government leaders.

Assistant Minister of Corporate Affairs Abdullah Saidol said candidates should not be judged solely by their ability to represent the people.

“We don’t want them to talk about big issues but lie about their own academic qualifications.

“If they can lie about their academic qualifications, I can’t imagine the other things they can lie about,” he said after Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg delivered his keynote address on integrity to state civil servants yesterday.

Abdullah, who is also Semop assemblyman, said leaders whether political or not must set a good example for others by practising integrity in everything they do.

“I hope people’s representatives and all government officers will take this matter seriously,” he added.

He noted many issues related to corruption and abuse of power in rural parts of the state which he said had not been seriously addressed.

This led to leakage, resulting in poor project outcomes, he added.

Meanwhile, Abang Johari said the state government was serious about promoting integrity among the people.

“The state government is fully behind the integrity and the anti-corruption agenda,” he said.

He added that Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission officers would be posted at the state’s integrity and ombudsman unit to ensure integrity is practised within the state administration.