The Malaysian Reserve

MACC: PM, ministers and MPs’ assets to be made public soon

PUTRAJAYA, MAY 16, 2018 : General view outside Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). (Pic by Afif Abd Halim/TMR)

By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / Pic By TMR File

A SPECIAL task force is currently compiling a report on the assets and possessions of all MPs, including the prime minister (PM), to be passed to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) soon.

MACC deputy chief commissioner (prevention) Datuk Shamsun Baharin Mohd Jamil said the full report will then be verified and be made public on the commission’s official website.

“It is something that we are working on to make the ruling government as transparent as possible.

“The initiative to disclose the assets that belong to the current MPs, ministers, including the PM himself, is supported by the government,” he told The Malaysian Reserve.

Shamsun Baharin said the antigraft body will take the necessary action if any false information is submitted.

“Once the information is gathered and declaration is made, a copy will be given to us to be verified and we will take the necessary action if there is any dubious transaction in their statements,” he said.

The directive on declaring the assets of Cabinet ministers and MPs is in view of Pakatan Harapan’s commitment in reforming the country, while ensuring transparency that would avoid any abuse of power.

On July 9, PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced that the PM, deputy PM, Cabinet members and MPs from the ruling party will be regarded as public officers, which makes them accountable to the country’s anti-corruption laws.

In April 2017, the High Court ruled in a landmark judgement that the PM is not a public officer holding public office, but a “member of administration”.

That ruling had allowed former PM Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak to dismiss a lawsuit against him.

Dr Mahathir added that amendments would be made to the government’s code of ethics to make the top positions in the government answerable to the law, in contrast to previous government’s status of “member of the administration”.

He also said the instructions for all ministers, deputy ministers and MPs to declare their assets are being worked on. Under the directive, government MPs and Cabinet members are given three months to make the declaration, beginning the day they took office.

Dr Mahathir also said the government is mulling the inclusion of asset declarations by family members of the affected group.

However, the government has not decided on the extent of the information that will be made public.

As of today, six ministers and a deputy minister have declared their assets worth through Invoke Malaysia, a non-profit organisation founded by PKR in 2016.

Among them is Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu, the president of Parti Amanah Negara, with a net worth of RM688,000 as of Jan 31, 2018. The net worth excluded his savings and investment, which amounted to RM105,600 and RM220,000 respectively.

In the five-page document uploaded to Invoke’s website, Mohamad declared that his main assets include his family home in Sepang, two houses bought with his wife and a plot of land in Perak. Mohamad did not declare any vehicle under his name.

Agriculture and Agrobased Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub, who is also Amanah deputy president, is reported to have a net worth of RM740,570 as of Sept 30, 2017, with outstanding loans of RM270,000.

He has two cars registered in his name, of which one is a gift worth RM160,000. His savings amounted to RM30,570.

Salahuddin said his property assets amounted to RM750,000, which include two houses in Johor and Selangor.

Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad is reported to be worth RM1.98 million as of Oct 30, 2017.

His savings and investments were declared to be RM71,000 and RM68,250 respectively, while his property assets amounted to RM2.2 million, including a house in Shah Alam and two plots of land inherited from his mother and grandmother.

Dr Dzulkefly has two cars registered in his name worth RM84,800, with housing and car loans totalling RM450,000.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail declared RM1.66 million in net assets with RM354,000 in his savings.

He declared two properties bought in Kelantan and Kuala Lumpur worth RM1.46 million, and four cars registered in his name, of which two were bought for his children. As of Sept 30, 2017, his loans amounted to RM528,000.