Sarawak ministers to declare assets

Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem (pictured), who witnessed the signing at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here on Thursday, said it showed the Cabinet's sincerity and honesty in running a government for the people.

KUCHING, Malaysia - Sarawak's ministers and assistant ministers will be required to declare their assets following the signing of an integrity pledge against corruption.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem said the state Cabinet members and assistant ministers would have to submit their personal data, including their income, to him soon.

He said this was part of the integrity pledge signed by the ministers and assistant ministers at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here yesterday.

"We take this pledge seriously. It's not play-play," he told reporters after witnessing the signing ceremony.

The pledge was signed by seven ministers and 19 assistant ministers. Second Resource Planning and Environment Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan was absent as he was away overseas.

Adenan said he would sign it upon his return.

By signing the pledge, the state government leaders promised to uphold integrity and prevent corruption by inculcating anti-graft values, stopping opportunities for corrupt practices, taking stern action against offenders and complying with the state administration's code of ethics.

It was the culmination of a series of integrity pledges signed by government agencies, statutory bodies and the private sector, including the timber industry, late last year.

Adenan said it showed the state's sincerity and honesty in running "a government for the people".

"Of course the cynics and the sceptics will say this is just a show. We'll see what happens after this. Don't prejudge us. This is the first step," he said.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Paul Low, who was also present, said Sarawak was the first state administration in the country to sign the integrity pledge.

"It shows the strong political will and commitment of the state leadership," he said.

"The pledge is a serious thing. It's like a promise to the public that this is the direction they will go."