KUCHING: The Sarawak Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) and political secretaries have signed an integrity pledge against corruption.
On Monday, 26 Barisan backbenchers and 30 political secretaries signed the pledge witnessed by Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Datuk Seri Abu Kassim Mohamed.
"I'm very happy to note they have taken it upon themselves to declare this pledge willingly. They were not forced to do so. They have done so voluntarily," Adenan told a press conference at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly here.
"Of course, don't expect corruption to go away the moment they sign the pledge. We don't expect that, but this is a good first step," he said.
To a question, Adenan said state Cabinet members were still in the process of submitting their asset declaration forms.
The Chief Minister added that while backbenchers and political secretaries were not required to declare assets, "it would be nice if they do so".
Abu Kassim was pleased with the state government's efforts to combat corruption.
He said Adenan was the first to sign the integrity pledge last year - followed by an announcement that his immediate family members could not apply for state land or logging concessions - and that had created a "ripple effect".
State backbenchers club chairman Abdullah Saidol said Barisan elected representatives like himself were aware that the ruling coalition suffered a "trust deficit" with voters.
He hoped the pledge signing would help improve perception, but added action spoke louder than words.
"He (Adenan) told us not to indulge in politics too much, not to forget the small issues in our constituencies, be honest to the people and let the people judge for themselves.
“The CM said in modern politics, don't forget traditional politics," he added.
Abdullah, a first-term elected representative for Semop, told reporters that Adenan warned under-performing and dishonest incumbents that they would be dropped.
"If an elected representative has low integrity, then in that case, he or she should be ready not to be fielded as a candidate again. That is his first (Adenan’s) criteria," he said.
The state election will be held by mid next year.