Going Public with Asset Declarations Hailed by Malaysians

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Public declaration would prevent politicians from “getting richer on taxpayers’ money”, and promote transparency and accountability among Pakatan politicians.

Making public the asset declarations of Pakatan Harapan parliamentarians will help alert authorities on corrupt activities, says Transparency International (TI) Malaysia president Datuk Akhbar Satar.

He welcomed the move by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to post the asset declarations of Pakatan Cabinet ministers and parliamentary representatives on its portal next month.

“Members of the public, especially accountants, can detect whether a politician has amassed wealth.

“This kind of red flag can be used to enable the MACC to launch an investigation,” he said when contacted yesterday.

It will be the first time that asset declarations will be shown on MACC’s portal for public viewing.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was previously reported to have said that all members of the administration, including ministers, their deputies and political secretaries, were required to declare their assets to the Prime Minister.

Akhbar said to ensure the effectiveness of the measure, asset declaration should be made several times throughout the politician’s career.

“This will allow the people to see if the politician has amassed wealth in office,” he added.

Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) executive director Cynthia Gabriel described Pakatan’s initiative as “a huge leap” in the right direction in placing transparency at the heart of their administration.

Norman Goh/Malaysiakini

“It is different from just declaring one’s assets to a government agency, whose details are not known to the public, compared to making it available for public scrutiny,” she said.

She said the public declaration would prevent politicians from “getting richer on taxpayers’ money”.

Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh said the move would promote transparency and accountability among Pakatan politicians.

“The ultimate goal is to combat corruption and hopefully it will help achieve this purpose,” he added.

Kota Melaka MP Khoo Poay Tiong said the declaration should be made public for the entire elected term and not merely for a specific period.

“The display should not be just for three months or so, but for our entire term. 

“We are accountable not only to the MACC but to the rakyat,” he said.

– The Star