The anti-graft body does not have the authority to launch any investigation unless there are elements of corruption
By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH & NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / Pic By BERNAMA
THE Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) will not be investigating assets that have been declared by the lawmakers until a report is lodged, said its deputy chief commissioner (prevention) Datuk Shamsun Baharin Mohd Jamil (picture).
He said the anti-graft body acts as the custody of the declaration, and does not have the authority to launch any investigation unless there are questionable elements of corruption.
“MPs do not declare their wealth to us, but to the prime minister (PM).
“After their assets have been declared, they are required to give a copy to us (MACC). We will hold the information and make it public. We will start to investigate if there is a report lodged over their assets,” he told The Malaysian Reserve yesterday.
Asking whether the MACC has opened any investigation on Pakatan Harapan MPs with regard to assets declaration, Shamsun Baharin said he could not comment on the matter as the investigation falls under a different division.
On July 1, a motion for all MPs to declare their wealth and that of their spouses, adult children and trustees to the MACC was passed in the Dewan Rakyat, the same day Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for Law Datuk Liew Vui Keong tabled it for the first reading.
Lawmakers who have not declared their assets are given three months to do so or risk being hauled to the parliamentary select committee on rights and privileges.
MPs with false declarations will be subject to prosecution under Section 3, Act 783 (Statutory Declaration) and Section 193 of the Penal Code, which carries a jail term not more than three years or a fine.
Commenting against the motion, former PM Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak said many lawmakers, who are also lawyers and architects, have other sources of income.
“There are many existing government bodies that are sufficient to probe the assets of lawmakers if they seemed dubious,” he said at the Parliament lobby on Wednesday.
He said the asset declaration could pose a security risk to MPs, saying that “anything can happen”.
Based on the MACC website, Segamat MP Datuk Seri Dr R Santhara Kumar tops the assets list with RM132.12 million in total, followed by Beruas MP Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham (RM77.01 million) and PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (RM32.36 million).
In terms of monthly income, Kedah Mentri Besar (MB) Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir is ranked first with RM105,641, followed by Teluk Intan MP Nga Kor Ming (RM101,160) and Perak MB Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu (RM91,150).
Among the Cabinet members, Dr Mahathir leads in both monthly income and assets’ figures.
He is followed by Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof with RM65,407 in income and RM23.08 million for assets, and Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (RM72,276 and RM14.37 million).