All agencies under Home Ministry must sign corruption-free pledge: Zahid

PUTRAJAYA: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi wants all departments and agencies under the Home Ministry to sign the Corruption-Free Pledge to prevent involvement in corruption and abuse of power when carrying out their tasks.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said the implementation of the pledge by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) showed commitment to duties and a desire to work in a conducive environment that is corruption-free in shouldering their responsibilities entrusted to them by the people.

He said the implementation of the pledge could also help erase the negative perception of various parties, especially the public, towards the government.

"What more, the Home Ministry is very sensitive to this as we deal directly with the public. The police, for instance, which are at the frontline in maintaining security, surely are exposed to soliciting for or accepting bribes.

"Corruption occurs in the public and private sectors in wanting to speed up a process, avoid penalties or heavy fines or something to be approved. If we want our country to be really developed, then rejecting and combating corruption must be made a culture among public servants," he said at the Home Ministry's monthly assembly, here today.

Without setting the time frame for all the 10 departments and agencies under the ministry to take the pledge, Ahmad Zahid however, congratulated the police for taking the pledge yesterday and ordered the Immigration Department to follow suit to avoid public suspicion towards the department.

In April, the Malaysia People's Volunteer Corps (Rela) became the first agency under the Home Ministry to take the Corruption-Free Pledge.

"This is no gimmick or rhetoric. It is a commitment, which is not just by reading the pledge, but an endorsement in our hearts and minds. We need to imbibe a culture of rejecting corruption to remove the (negative) perception, and want all parties including myself to give full commitment and endorsement to the fact that corruption must be wiped out," Ahmad Zahid said.

He also urged the Home Ministry's secretary-general Datuk Seri Alwi Ibrahim to make it compulsory for all officers and individuals in the departments and agencies under the ministry to take and sign the Corruption-Free Pledge.

According to him, before the MACC came to the police with the pledge, the police had made efforts internally, such as setting up the Department of Integrity and Standards Compliance as a commitment to raise integrity and bring back public confidence in the institution.

"God willing, all ministries, departments and agencies will eventually become corruption-free.

"The government is firm about taking stern action as we want to give the best services without payments made by interested parties outside the counters or under the tables. It's difficult to do this in order to avoid negative public perception, but not impossible if we are truly committed to freeing the whole country of corruption," he said.

Ahmad Zahid also called on organisations and political parties with the goal of eradicating corruption in the country to just not point the accusing finger at the government.

"We need to set aside our political differences as the issue of corruption is a joint concern. We should use our political differences to fight corruption. This commitment should exist, and not just making accusations or avoiding from taking the (corruption-free) pledge. This (combating corruption) is a joint responsibility," he said.

At the assembly, Ahmad Zahid also handed out the Security Protection Special Award 2016 certificate for excellence to the Sarawak National Registration Department and mock cheques for RM10,000 each as a grant to the representatives of 11 residents' associations in Selangor and Putrajaya in creating safe and harmonious neighbourhoods. — Bernama