Sarawak civil servants can expect benefits from sovereign fund – Abang Johari

Credit: Unit Komunikasi Awam Sarawak (UKAS)
10/11/2022 03:45 PM

KUCHING, Nov 10 (Bernama) -- Sarawak civil servants can expect to benefit from the sovereign fund that the state government plans to introduce via a Bill to be tabled at the state legislative assembly this month.

Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, today said that the benefits to be offered through this fund would be able to bypass the requirements set by the Public Service Department (JPA).

Speaking at the launch of Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) Integrity Day here, he said though he had previously indicated the possibility of increasing the quantum of salaries for the state civil servants, it would need to be studied carefully.

He said the state could not simply create posts or have its own system of salary and pension benefits without being subjected to the Federal civil service scheme as all pensionable posts are under JPA’s jurisdiction.

“(But) I will introduce our sovereign fund which will include endowment fund and I hope if we earn good returns, our economy is strong, financial position is strong, of course we can share the benefits with the civil servants. That is my intention, so just pray,” he said.

Abang Johari said the state government hopes to increase its civil servants’ quantum of salaries as a way to stop corruption, much like what is being practiced in Singapore.

“Civil servants’ salaries are not enough to cope with the increasing cost of living, giving rise to the tendency to ask for tips, under table money, abuse of power, so forth,” he said.

He said to address this, among steps which have been taken include establishing an Internal Audit Unit under the State Financial Secretary Office, Integrity and Ombudsman Unit, as well as mandatory requirement for all agencies to have an integrity unit and at least one Certified Integrity Officer (CeIO).

Abang Johari is confident that with 1,806 CeIOs trained, 79 of them trained outside Malaysia, along with other measures and mechanisms that had been set to prevent corruption, public confidence would be instilled to allow for more implementation of government projects. 

“It prides me to mention that Sarawak has built a strong foundation with clear objectives to fight corruption, ensure governance and integrity,” he added.