PUTRAJAYA: Three months – that’s the time frame given to all Pakatan Harapan MPs to declare their assets.
There will be no exception to this ruling which includes the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, ministers and deputy ministers.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the deadline for them starts from the day they took the oath of office.
Saifuddin said as for other Pakatan MPs, the three-month period starts next Monday after their swearing-in as members of the Dewan Rakyat.
“This instruction came from the Prime Minister when he spoke during the opening of a special briefing on governance, integrity and anti-corruption for Pakatan MPs.
“There is a form for us to fill that would be prepared by the MACC.
“All the information would then be published on the MACC website for public viewing,” said Saifuddin, who is the Kulim Bandar Baru MP.
He said, however, several MPs raised questions during the Q&A session, mostly on privacy issues.
“Privacy is the main concern because our spouses and children would have to declare their assets too,” he said.
He also said the MPs might be put in a tight spot as voters, who know the net worth of their assets, might question why they could not use their wealth to fund community projects and programmes.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi, who is Sabah’s Warisan supreme council member, said in an era when the people wanted to know more than just the cost of a project, declaring assets was “the way forward”.
Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin lauded the new policy as a good move to fight graft and abuse of power.
However, she noted that people also could tell if a lawmaker is living beyond his or her means even without declaring assets.
“It is going to be obvious where the extra money comes from. And if we do it (declaring assets), you (the people) can actually see it.
“So I’ve got to do it. It’s no issue, not a problem. If that is what we are asked to do, we will do it,” she said after a meeting with Perak Speaker Ngeh Koo Ham, state Local Government and Housing Committee chairman Paul Yong, all 15 local councils’ presidents and guests at the state secretariat building yesterday.
Deputy Works Minister Mohd Anuar Tahir said the MPs could sense Dr Mahathir’s determination to weed out corrupt practices.
“Tun is so determined in combating corruption that should there be a death penalty for offenders, he is all for it,” said the Temerloh MP, who is also Amanah secretary-general.