Uncertain over asset declaration

  • Nation
  • Monday, 20 May 2019

PETALING JAYA: Barisan Nasional MPs have no problem formally declaring their assets as called on by the Prime Minister, as long as it is required under the law.

Opposition chief Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said previously when Barisan was the Federal Government, its ministers, deputy ministers and lawmakers had formally declared their assets.

The then opposition MPs were not required to do so as they had no links with decision makers that could lead to the abuse of power or corruption.

“But now, since the Prime Minister is asking for opposition lawmakers to do so, we have no problem and we can work with the government to declare assets, as long as it is stipulated under the law,” said the Bera MP and Umno vice-president when contacted.

Ismail Sabri said he welcomed the move by the Pakatan Harapan ministers, deputy ministers and lawmakers to declare their assets.

Last Tuesday, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption had decided to ask opposition lawmakers to declare their assets to the government.

The Prime Minister said this would be initiated after the proposal had been brought to the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat.

At present, there are no laws to compel lawmakers to declare their assets.

However, it was reported that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is considering amending the MACC Act 2009 or to introduce new laws pertaining to asset declaration.

In March, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim called on the government to make asset declaration by key public officials a legal obligation.

PAS ulama chief Datuk Dr Mahfodz Mohamed said it would not be an issue for its 18 MPs to make a formal declaration of their assets in the Dewan Rakyat.

“It’s is not an issue for us as PAS lawmakers are not rich and do not have a lot of assets.

“However, the Prime Minister’s proposal will first be brought up for discussion during the PAS central committee meeting to be held after the fasting month,” he said.

Mahfodz, who also sits in the PAS central committee, noted that not all Pakatan MPs had declared their assets as required by their respective parties.

Meanwhile, Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had previously directed all 18 MPs under Parti Gabungan Sarawak (GPS) to declare their assets.

GPS parliamentary chief whip Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said the Sarawak government was currently waiting for the declaration format by the Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC) and MACC.

“All declarations made to the Chief Minister’s Office, including those made by GPS lawmakers, will be submitted together,” the Petra Jaya MP said when contacted.

According to the MACC asset declaration website, 123 government lawmakers have declared their assets out of the total 137 from PKR, DAP, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, Parti Amanah Negara and Parti Warisan Sabah.

Of those who are yet to declare include three PKR lawmakers – Awang Husaini Sahari (Putatan), Ali Biju (Saratok) and P. Prabakaran (Batu).

Checks also revealed that 11 Pakatan lawmakers who have yet to declare their assets were those who had recently crossed over to the coalition and joined Bersatu.

Among them are Beluran MP Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee and Masjid Tanah lawmaker Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin.

Kiandee, when contacted, said he had no issues declaring his assets and would inquire on the format to do so.

“I am looking for information on the matter, it is just an administrative issue so there is no problem in declaring.

“But to be fair, I had just joined Bersatu,” said Kiandee who left Umno in March this year.

Mas Ermieyati when contacted said she had signed the necessary documents for the declaration and had submitted them to MACC.

“I have to check on the status of my declaration,” she said.

The latest declaration, was on April 29 by Dr Michael Teo Yu Keng (PKR-Miri).

However, checks also revealed that several Pakatan and Warisan MPs have declared their monthly income but not their assets.

Among them are Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister and Silam MP Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi, Bentong MP Wong Tack, Mas Gading MP Mordi Bimol and Jelutong MP R.S.N. Rayer, whose monthly income has been stated.

Mohamaddin had previously said that he had “no assets” to declare.

Rayer said he had declared to MACC before the stipulated deadline on Oct 15, 2018.

“I have written confirmation that I have submitted my details to MACC.

“You need to ask MACC why my total asset declaration is not included,” he said.

The website also states that 78 administrative members, who include political secretaries, under the Pakatan administration have done so, with only five who have not.

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