Local authorities must adhere to work procedure to curb corruption – PM

PUTRAJAYA, Dec 10 2018 (Bernama) — Local authorities have to adhere to the provisions of the desk file, work procedure manual and flowchart in discharging their duties and responsibilities within time frames to curb corruption, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

He said this was due to the fact that the administrative system introduced would facilitate administrators to carry out their duties efficiently and effectively.

Speaking at the Local Councils Empowerment Convention here, Dr Mahathir said the purpose of the system was to enable an officer to approve the application in an orderly manner without waiting for other officers’ approval first.

“Sometimes, for a decision to be approved, the officer will have to wait for other officers for their approvals, which will delay the process. Instead, if the officer focuses on his or her duties by adhering to the desk file, then the work will run smoothly and quickly.

“In this way, we can be sure that everything goes well. It is also important to ensure that the applicants also know the correct procedure in submitting an application, either for building a house, hotel or tower as this will facilitate administrative matters,” he said.

Dr Mahathir also reminded local authorities (LAs)’ staff not to delay in approving the application because when there was a delay, it could lead to corruption incidents between officials and applicants.

“Keep in mind at all time that power entrusted is not for own use but to ensure responsibilities to be carried out successfully by LAs officers.

“If we abuse the power, the community will definitely be burdened as the development will have to be implemented with bigger allocation,” he said.

Citing an English phrase ‘power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely’, Dr Mahathir said corruption incidents would occur when officials deliberately delaying the approval of the application for which the applicant had to wait for a long time and would offer little money to help accelerate the process.

“Whenever a sum of money is given, the officer will start to feel that if the application or decision is deliberately delayed, then there is a favour awaits him, so this is the beginning of corruption in government.

“When the high-level leaders abuse the power, then all government machinery will be involved with corruption. Due to corruption, national development will not be achieved as expected by the people,” he said.

Dr Mahathir also said that if the arrangement of the government machinery was not well-organised, then the administration would be in a mess and not moving forward effectively.

“Today, for the first time in 60 years, we all witness a change of government. Perhaps, in the past, the LAs already understood and knew on what to do, but now with the new government, it is important for us to understand the purpose of the new government and ways to implement that change,” he said.

He said the new government had introduced a complete manifesto but it (manifesto) was made before it took over the country’s administration and the parties that formed the manifesto believed to have no knowledge or misunderstood the country’s actual situation.

He said, therefore, the existing manifesto could not be implemented immediately, and it would take time to build an administration capable of performing duties as pledged in the manifesto.

“If there is a slow implementation of the manifesto, it is imperative that our thinking is in line with the responsibilities pledged in the manifesto. In the government structure, it comprises the leaders, the Cabinet and the administrative body. There must be an understanding and cooperation between the Cabinet and the administrative body to enable the implementation of pledges made in the manifesto,” he said.

At the event, Dr Mahathir also launched the i-Tegur application, an in-house initiative developed by the Housing and Local Government Ministry (KPKT) to facilitate members of the public to lodge complaints against LAs via mobile phones.

In a statement issued today, the ministry said the application was developed with aimed at establishing close rapport between LAs and the community using a user-friendly complaint channel in efforts to provide the best services to the people, as well as to enable effective monitoring and efficient management.

The app can be downloaded for free on Google Play and Apple store as well as more information also available at http: //i-tegur-kpkt/gov.my.

About 3,000 participants took part in the two-day convention that was organised to strengthen the role of the LAs in line with the new government’s direction and to give councils’ members the opportunity to deliver effective services to the public.

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