MACC seeks law for mandatory declaration of assets

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has recommended that an Act be enacted in Parliament to make it compulsory for members of the government administration, Parliament and the Senate to declare their assets.

MACC Deputy Chief Commissioner (Prevention) Datuk Seri Shamshun Baharin Mohd Jamil said this was because as of now, no clear punishment could be taken against those who did not do so.

He said in 2019, the Dewan Rakyat unanimously approved a motion to make it compulsory for all MPs to declare their assets to the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, and for a copy to be given to the MACC.

"The MACC only acts as the 'custodian' (guardian) of the information in this matter. The Commission will then display it on the Asset Declaration Portal within three months after it is declared,” he told reporters on the MACC’s achievements in the prevention sector via an online session here Tuesday (July 13).

According to him, as of July 6, a total of 97 members of the administration, 198 MPs and 39 senators have declared their assets, while six members of the administration, 22 MPs and 26 senators were yet to do so.

Shamshun Baharin said currently, there was no specific law with regard to the declaration of assets, and the MACC could not do any verification on the declaration documents received.

"Investigations are only conducted on individuals who are seen leading extravagant lifestyles beyond their income level under Section 36 of the MACC Act 2009," he said.

Commenting further, he said Malaysia could follow the lead of neighboring countries such as Indonesia and Thailand which already had legal provisions in place with regard to asset declaration.

In another development, Shamshun Baharin said the MACC had succeeded in raising the benchmark of best practices in the fight against corruption, gaining recognition from various international organisations including the South-East Asia Parties Against Corruption, the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the International Criminal Police Organisation.

He said the MACC also received recognition from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime which provided assessments based on the check and balance mechanism in the commission to carry out its duties in an independent, transparent and professional manner. - Bernama

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