Speaker to punish MPs who fail to declare assets

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 29 Jun 2019

PETALING JAYA: The Speaker will mete out punishments to MPs if they fail to declare their assets should Parliament pass the special motion to make it compulsory for all lawmakers to declare their assets to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

A source confirmed that the paper for the special motion has been prepared and will be presented on July 1 when Parliament convenes.

Another source said the government was not pushing for a Bill on the matter and only a special motion as it would be easier to pass through.

“If it is tabled as a Bill, it would become law if passed and this may not go down so well even with government MPs as the punishment would be severe, while a special motion will only need a simple majority.

“Furthermore, the punishment would only be what can be meted out by the Speaker. What the punishment will be would be left to the Speaker’s discretion,” said the source.

Attempts to contact Speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof however did not produce any response.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong confirmed that he would be the one to table the special motion to compel all MPs to declare their assets to the MACC.

Liew, the de facto Law Minister, said the special motion on asset declaration was part of the Pakatan Harapan manifesto in the last general election.

“Pakatan MPs have to take this seriously. It’s in their manifesto,” he said.

Liew also claimed that half of the Pakatan manifesto has been fulfilled.

He was responding to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Moha­mad’s confirmation on Thursday that such a motion would be tabled in the next sitting, which starts on July 1.

“We will table the motion – whether it will be passed or not, that’s a different matter,” said Dr Mahathir.

This is the second time the government is trying to get MPs to declare their assets to the MACC.

The first time was only for Pakatan MPs, who voluntarily declared their assets to the commission,> SEE NEXT PAGE

with their declarations made public on the MACC website as of Nov 1 last year.

The proposal to get all MPs, including opposition MPs, to declare their assets to the MACC was raised at the Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption meeting chaired by Dr Mahathir in May.

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

According to Liew, the mechanism to declare the assets would still be via the MACC asset declaration portal, which is available to the public.

He, however, refuted allegations that the first round of asset declaration was a “mess”.

“In the last exercise (when Pakatan MPs declared their assets), there was no mess as alleged, just some initial technical and teething issues that all have been addressed.

“I have been informed that as of now, there is 100% compliance as far as Pakatan MPs are concerned,” he said.

A check by The Star on the MACC asset declaration portal as of yesterday showed that the details of 16 Pakatan MPs have yet to be uploaded.

According to the MACC, 88.6% of Pakatan MPs have declared their assets.

Currently, there are 139 government MPs from Pakatan and its Sabah partners Parti Warisan Sabah and the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko).

The MACC came under fire last November for what many described as haphazard information in its portal’s display of income figures from the voluntary asset declaration exercise.

However, the commission said the brickbats were uncalled for, pointing out that it was following the government’s directive and that it merely provided the platform.

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