‘Manage Malaysian education budget with integrity’

THE education ecosystem in the country needs to be managed and governed with transparency and integrity.

This is especially pertinent given that the Education Ministry traditionally receives the highest budget allocation every year.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Mohamad Alamin said the issue of corruption, for one, is viewed very seriously by the ministry.“It is very important for the ministry to ensure procurement management and development are implemented and managed well without the risk of leakage.

“If each budget allocation is managed well and with integrity, then it is not impossible for our national education system to be on par with developed countries,” he said.

Last year, the Education Ministry got the biggest slice of the pie in Budget 2022 with RM52.6bil.

In tabling the Budget, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the allocation was equivalent to 16% of the total government expenditure.

Mohamad said the ministry has an important task to ensure that the vast education system works well and without any leakage to uphold quality education.

He was speaking at the closing ceremony of the Certified Integrity Officer (CeIO) Programme in Putrajaya on Aug 9.

A training programme by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Academy (MACA), it produces certified officers – known as CeIOs – who plan, implement and monitor the effectiveness of integrity programmes in public and private sectors.

The Education Ministry, Mohamad said, was the first ministry to collaborate with MACA on the programme, having sent a total of 57 senior officers to participate in it.

“In order to design a strong and transparent system, we need individuals with integrity to mobilise transformation efforts so that the ministry’s aspirations can move forward as planned,” he said.

MACA director Datuk Haji Idris Zaharudin noted that the Education Ministry is given a high-risk rank in the Public Service Corruption Ranking (PSCR) due to the high budget allocation that it receives.

The placement of CeIOs within the ministry, he said, would reduce the risk of corruption.

“It is an important step for the ministry to put officers who can act as its ‘eyes and ears’ to ensure procurement is implemented and managed well,” he said during the ceremony.

The PSCR is a preventive initiative by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) aimed at identifying the level of corruption and integrity violations in public agencies based on prescribed components.

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