PETALING JAYA: Why are the elected representatives of the government hesitating to declare their assets, ask anti-corruption watchdogs.
Transparency International-Malaysia President Datuk Akhbar Satar said that there is no acceptable reason for anyone in the government not to declare their assets to the government, so that the information can be made public by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
“This is in your manifesto. Come clean and be transparent. Pakatan Harapan (PH) government would not be much different from the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government if it does not adhere to the world standard of asset declarations by government officials,” said Akhbar.
He pointed out that a BN minister had once stated that declaring their assets would tempt thieves and kidnappers.
“Leaders must publicly declare all their assets to gain public trust. By doing so, the public will no longer question their integrity. It will be clear that they are working for the people and not for their own gain. By being transparent, suspicions will not be raised.
“An open asset declaration system involving office holders would help improve Malaysia’s ranking in the Corruption Perceptions Index. Taiwan, Indonesia and Australia have the best practices,” said Akhbar.
Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) executive director Cynthia Gabriel said what was published on the MACC portal yesterday is “a far cry from an asset declaration”.
“An asset declaration requires shares, property, bonds and bank accounts disclosed with elaborate details.
“We urge MACC to explain the technical problems (as shown on the website), as the delay and incomplete data suggests a lack of seriousness of the MPs in heeding Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed’s call.
“As the public disclosure exercise is a huge step and is the first time ever in Malaysia, we do expect some hitches, but the half-released information seems like a pitiful attempt, and we urge the GIACC and the MACC to step up and explain reasons for the delays.
“Of greater concern, is the “tidak apa” attitude of the MPs who didn’t bother to submit their forms. C4 urges for greater political will to make this promise a reality,” said Gabriel.
Yesterday, MACC published the monthly incomes of elected representatives of the government in line with PH’s promise to declare their assets, but some of the representatives disputed the figures on the site.