KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition lawmakers have no intention of declaring their assets as there are no written laws that compel them to do so, says its chief Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
"We will not declare our assets because there are no written laws under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 that can compel us to do so.
"We will agree if the MACC amends the Act to require all lawmakers to declare our assets," he told reporters on the sidelines of the Umno annual general assembly at Putra World Trade Centre here on Friday (Dec 6).
Ismail Sabri said the motion brought in Parliament was inaccurate as it could only be used by the Speaker to handle Standing Orders and instructions within the Dewan.
"Now, they want to involve spouses and children to be bound by the motion.
"This is not right as it involves lawmakers' families," he said.
He described it as an attempt by the executive to interfere with the legislative branch.
"This is because the Speaker has said there should be a separation of powers that must be strengthened.
"That is why they have many select committees. But what's happening now is that the Parliament has to follow the instructions of the executive to make a motion to compel MPs, including those from the Opposition, to declare their assets," added the Bera MP.
Ismail Sabri, who is also Umno vice-president, noted that the spirit of declaring assets in any other country was to prevent the abuse of power.
"On the level of ministers and deputy ministers, I agree. When we were ministers, we did declare our assets.
"But for those who are not in power such as the Opposition, who do not have any power to approve anything, there is no need for us to declare our assets,” he said.
Meanwhile, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang questioned whether its lawmakers were obligated to declare their assets because this policy was part of Pakatan Harapan's election promises.
He also asked about the legal grounds under the Federal Constitution that could compel its lawmakers to do so.
"What is important is our sincerity. If we are not sincere, there is no meaning to this," said Abdul Hadi, who is Marang MP.
Datuk Liew Vui Keong recently said the Dewan Rakyat Speaker could take action against MPs who failed to declare their assets after the Dec 5 deadline.
The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department said the House's Standing Order allowed for the Speaker to act against the MPs, citing contempt.
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