MACC hopes to register 100,000 Sahabat Gerah by ear end

KRISTY INUS

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) targets to sign up at least 10,000 Sahabat Gerakan Revolusi Anti Rasuah (Gerah) in this State by year-end to include public participation in combating corruption.

Sabah MACC director Datuk Sazali Salbi said to date 3,205 had registered state-wide to be Sahabat Gerah since the campaign was launched on Aug 1, which was similar to Rakan Cop and acted as the eyes and ears of MACC.

“Nationwide there are over 50,000 Sahabat Gerah registered and the aim is to reach 100,000 by year-end.

“I hoped press members also sign up as Sahabat Gerah as they interact with the public a lot, and they can disseminate information on anti-corruption,” he said after the ‘Ikrar Bebas Rasuah’ (IBR) ceremony involving Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) staff here.

In his speech earlier, Sazali said those who signed up would receive a membership card with certain benefits to be announced by MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Zulkifle Ahmad during the Commission’s 50th anniversary on Oct 1.

He said the number of people signing up to be their partner was an indicator of the public support for MACC efforts and to relay the message to the government that corruption was the country’s number one enemy.

“Previously it was drugs but we realise drug problems exist because corruption exists and this indicates we need to fight this together,” he said,

Meanwhile, about 500 staff of the utility company were present to sign the corruption-free pledge led by its managing director Abd Razak Sallim, which will be extended to the rest of the 3,000 staff state-wide in stages.

Sazali said there were 54 agencies which had taken the IBR pledge so far, with Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) here to be the 55th tomorrow.

“Taking the pledge and practicing the habit (of fighting corruption) is a serious matter. We have done our best to educate but there are still a number of individuals or characters who stray,” he said.

On his recent statement that they were gearing up to catch a ‘big fish’ this month, he said they had moved the operation to next month as they focussed on outreach programmes as their anniversary drew nearer.

“There will also be a Kembara Jelajah Anti Rasuah 2017 involving 40 high-powered motorbikes on Sept 23.

“The riders will spread anti-corruption messages from the State capital to Sindumin, Sipitang, where they will be making pit stops at Papar, Membakut and Beaufort before ending in Sindumin,” he said.

Meanwhile Abd Razak stressed that the SESB management team would not hesitate in bringing forward errant staff to justice should they found to be involved in corruption.

“While we have been taken anti-corruption initiatives in the past, this IBR pledge is important as SESB operations deal with various services and handling of project tenders.

“In the past there were cases with corruption elements and we brought in the police and MACC to investigate, but so far no conviction has been made recorded on reports we lodged. But we have reduced serious incidents over the years.

“It does not mean we rest on our laurels. So long as we provide services, there is room for corruption to creep in and we will continue combating this,” he stressed.

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