Mandatory asset declaration opens new perspective in Malaysian politics


THE move of the government to make it mandatory for all MPs to declare their assets is a wise measure to open up a new perspective in the country’s politics.

Several former elected representatives believes the move would enable the authorities to detect any new asset or property owned by the MPs, especially those who hold high posts in political parties.

Former Kota Tinggi MP and Foreign Minister Tan Sri Syed Hamid Syed Albar (picture) said the measure should be welcomed by all MPs to prove the transparency of their financial affairs and asset ownership.

“I think it’s a good move…to enhance the image of MPs. The people would be able to know how and when they have assets, before or after,” he said when contacted by Bernama.

On July 1, the Dewan Rakyat unanimously passed the motion to make it mandatory for all MPs to declare their assets. Based on the motion, all MPs need to declare their assets apart from their wife or husband and children, as well as trustee holders made under statutory declaration.

The statutory declaration would later be submitted to the speaker of Dewan Rakyat within three months from the date the motion was passed and a copy would be sent to the chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

A list of MPs who have declared their assets would be displayed at the MACC portal, and only the details of asset declaration would be displayed at the portal for three months from the date the statutory declaration was received by the MACC.

MPs who failed to do so would be referred to the Parliamentary Rights and Privileges Committee under Standing Order 80 of the Dewan Rakyat for violating the rights and privileges of the house.

If an MP is found making a false declaration, the individual would be subject to Section 3 of Act 783 and Section 199 of the Penal Code and if convicted, could be sentenced under Section 193 of the Penal Code which provides for a maximum of three years in jail and fine.

Commenting on the move, Kempas assemblyman Datuk Tengku Putra Haron Aminurrashid Tengku Hamid Jumat said the measure is good and should be supported by all.

He stressed that when an elected representative declares his assets, it would facilitate the authorities to detect any movements or flow of their new money or assets.

“It is a good move to detect from where the money or wealth is coming from, especially those in their first term,” he added.

Meanwhile, Jeram assemblyman Mohd Shaid Rosli proposed that assemblymen and their families, as well as MPs should declare their assets to curb the element of money laundering of bribe.

“Ministers and assemblymen should explain of their wealth which exceeded their income. We need to enforce the matter as law. This shows the transparency of the government in eradicating corruption among MPs and assemblymen,” he added. — Bernama