IPOH: The Perak state legislative assembly has approved a motion, compelling all assemblymen and their family members to declare their assets.
The motion, tabled by Pasir Berdamar assemblyman R.N. Terence Naidu, was passed through the support of 31 of the 59 assemblymen on Tuesday (July 23).
Perak is the first state legislative to follow the move after the Dewan Rakyat and Dewan Negara required Members of Parliament and senators to do the same.
The Opposition, however, raised questions as to why they were required to declare their assets to the Speaker when it was adequate to hand in their forms to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
The Opposition despite stating that they had nothing against declaring their assets, did not vote for the motion, as they were unhappy with the fact that the Speaker would have information on their assets.
Earlier, when tabling the motion, Terence said the declaration of assets should be made by the assemblymen, their spouses and children, as well as trustees in a Statutory Declaration, which will be submitted to assembly Speaker Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham.
A copy of it will be submitted to the MACC chief commissioner.
He said only the details of the asset declaration by the assemblymen would be posted on the MACC portal for three months.
During two separate press conferences, Perak DAP chairman Nga Kor Ming called the move as "today in history", while Perak Opposition leader Datuk Saarani Mohamad said it is the "worst day in history".
Saarani, a five-term assemblyman, said the motion was bulldozed and the rep who brought forward the motion did not wind up his speech.
"We are not against the motion which will help prevent corruption, money laundering and misuse of power.
"But our question is why the need to fill in the forms and to hand it to the Speaker, who will then provide one copy to MACC.
"We will only hand in our forms to MACC and not the Speaker," he added.
Nga, who is also Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker, said Perak was the first state assembly to compel its assemblymen to declare their assets.
He said with the Speaker being the head of the House, it was proper for the forms to be handed to him, before being submitted to the MACC.
"Since the motion is not brought by the state but by a backbencher, there is no need for a winding-up speech.
"All assemblymen have until Oct 23 to declare their assets, and those who fail to do so will be referred to the Rights and Privileges Committee," he added.