Civil servants make up one in three Penang graft cases, says state secretary

Opalyn Mok
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow poses for photos with state excos during a monthy assembly with state civil servants in George Town January 7, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainuddin

GEORGE TOWN, Jan 7 — Corruption cases involving civil servants account for over 35 per cent of all incidents reported in Penang last year, state secretary Datuk Seri Farizan Darus said today.

This was extrapolated from 115 cases related to public workers from the 325 total reported between January and November 2018.

“This is a worrying number when compared to 206 cases involving workers from the private sector,” he said in his speech at a monthly civil servants’ assembly with Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow this morning.

Farizan expressed concern as the number meant that there was an average of nearly 10 cases involving civil servants a month.

The 325 cases covered all sectors, including the civil service, the private sector and government-linked companies.

“Out of the 325 cases, 68 were for accepting bribes, seven for giving bribes, 14 for false claims, 37 for misuse of position, three for money laundering and 196 for various graft offences,” he said.

In a later press conference, he also said the high number of cases was beyond his expectations.

He, however, categorised 2018’s cases as a “slight” decline from the previous year, but did not provide the actual number by saying he did not have this on hand.

Farizan said the administration will set a higher target in 2019 and aim for a 40 per cent drop in graft cases involving civil servants both in the state and federal agencies.

Earlier, he also said there were 44 disciplinary misconduct cases reported in state agencies, local councils and state statutory bodies.

“This figure does not involve federal agencies and most of the misconduct recorded involved civil servants who were absent from work, late to work, drug abuse and use of false medical certificates,” he said.

For 2019, he expressed hope for a drastic reduction in graft cases, abuse of position and disciplinary misconduct.

He reminded all department heads to coordinate their work process and procedures so that they are more efficient and transparent.

“We need to prevent any misconduct by reviewing the existing standard operating procedures so that there is no room for civil servants to misuse their position or be involved in graft cases,” he said.

Farizan said bureaucracy must also be reduced to speed up procedures and improve the respective state agencies’ services which could prevent corruption.

“The state administration will work closely the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to trace and nab civil servants who are involved in graft offences,” he said.

He said decisive action must be taken to curb corrupt practices so that the state government’s integrity is not jeopardised.

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