Abu Kassim: PM intent on fighting graft

PUTRAJAYA: The Prime Minister is committed to fighting corruption and instilling good governance, says Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed (pic).

The director-general of the National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption said when Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin became the Prime Minister, they had met to talk about the National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP).

NACP was launched last year with the aim of making Malaysia a corrupt-free nation by 2023.

“I asked the Prime Minister if he wants to continue with the NACP initiatives and he gave me a straight answer.

“He said, Abu, yes. I believe in it and I want to continue fighting corruption, ” he said at the Anti-Corruption Forum.

Abu Kassim said among initiatives that had been put in place to fight corruption under the plan included getting lawmakers to declare their assets and drafting a law on political funding.

He noted that the previous government had also made it a point not to appoint active politicians to head government-linked companies.

“This initiative is part of NACP. It was implemented by the previous administration. Then there was a change of government.

“I conveyed my opinion to the Prime Minister that those appointed to GLCs must be professional and integrity should be one of the elements to be considered and to a certain extent, he agreed, ” he said.

Abu Kassim said vetting those appointed to these positions was also crucial so that those given the job were individuals of high integrity.

He is also of the opinion that government officers should be appointed to its board.

“This is to ensure governance is observed and practised. But what is important is that the individual given power, position and authority is of high integrity.

“It is the person himself rather than where he comes from, ” he said.

On political funding legislation, Abu Kassim described the Bill, which is now with the Parliament select committee, as balanced.

“I must say that I am happy with the draft. We have had extensive discussions with all political parties on the issue. I describe it as a balanced Bill, ” he said.

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