The commitment of the Pakatan Harapan government to ensure good governance and free Malaysia of corruption is reflected in the realisation of 21 of the 60 promises in its 14th General Election manifesto, said Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The prime minister said the government wanted Malaysia to be known for integrity and not corruption.
“These efforts called for a drastic integrated and comprehensive plan. The government commitment was to achieve the principle of wanting Malaysia to be known for integrity and not corruption,” he said in his address on “The 100 Days of the Pakatan Harapan government” broadcast to the nation.
Towards this objective, he said, several matters had been implemented so far, including:
a. Establishing a Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption (JKKMAR).
b. Establishing the Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC) to enable the efforts to free Malaysia from corruption to be implemented immediately, effectively and comprehensively.
The GIACC has been given the mandate to hold meetings with all the secretaries-general of ministries to identify the risks of corruption based on the issues identified by their respective organisations. The secretaries-general of ministries or heads of department are required to personally assume the responsibility and discuss with the GIACC the preparation of action plans to address the identified problems or issues.
c. Formulating the National Anti-Corruption Plan to enable the issues of governance, integrity and anti-corruption to be addressed comprehensively.
d. Legislation that allows punitive action to be taken against officers who deliberately cause leakage or wastage of government funds will be formulated for this purpose.
e. To combat money politics, a Political Funding Bill is being drafted. A special team led by the GIACC has been set up to submit a draft of the Political Funding Bill to the Cabinet.
f. A policy on the giving of gifts and donations to members of the civil service (from ministers to political secretaries) is being drafted. At the moment, this policy only focuses on civil servants.
g. The government has decided that members of the administration (ministers and deputy ministers) should no longer issue support letters in relation to any project or application.
Heads of department have been requested to no longer assume support letters to be a directive or decision of members of the administration.
h. For the declaration of assets, the guidelines are being amended to expand the definition of members of the administration so that the prime minister and deputy prime minister will also have to declare their assets.
Accordingly, an amendment will be made to the Code of Ethics for members of the administration and government members of Parliament.
From now on, the assets will be declared to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) so that there is openness and transparency in this practice.
i. The government has decided to improve the mechanism pertaining to the acceptance of gifts, entertainment and payment by members of the administration.
The definition of members of the administration has been expanded to also include the prime minister and deputy prime minister. They also have to report the acceptance of gifts, entertainment and payment.
The prime minister said the anti-corruption and integrity institutions had been strengthened and all members of the government and elected representatives had to declare their assets.
He also said that the government had fulfilled its promise not to restrict freedom of speech and of the media.
“But this freedom does not encompass efforts to provoke the races to be hostile to one another to the extent of triggering chaos and riots. What is meant by provocation will be explained,” he said.
Mahathir said the efforts taken over the past 100 days were not made in isolation.
“They have taken into account the efforts to ensure that the national institutions are not left behind in their consolidation as we pursue the promises of our manifesto.
“The government believes that in the future, regardless of which party rules or who becomes the prime minister or ministers, the consolidation of the institutions will ensure that there is no corruption, abuse of power and theft of money and public property and, if these happen, they will not escape legal action,” he said.