Putrajaya to push mandatory asset declaration for all MPs

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (centre) chairs the Anti-Corruption Special Cabinet Committee meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya November 21, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (centre) chairs the Anti-Corruption Special Cabinet Committee meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya November 21, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, June 27 — The government is expected to table a motion in Parliament next Monday to compel all MPs to publicly declare their assets, a move likely to meet resistance from most members of the Opposition.

Sources familiar with the matter told Malay Mail that the proposed motion is a follow through of the May 14 Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption meeting chaired by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The meeting concluded that the current requirement for government backbenchers to declare their assets to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission will be extended to Opposition lawmakers and their immediate family members, a policy in line with the National Anti-Corruption Plan.

Senior government aides confirmed that de facto Law Minister Datuk VK Liew is scheduled to meet Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Mohamad either Saturday or Sunday.

“VK Liew will be meeting the Speaker first,” a senior aide to a minister told Malay Mail.

“We’ll see how the meeting goes.”

Currently, only Pakatan Harapan (PH) MPs are required to declare their assets and income. Electoral reform group like Bersih 2.0, however, has called on the government to make it compulsory for all MPs to release audits of their wealth for transparency.

The Special Cabinet Committee meeting agreed. In the May 14 meeting, sources said the panel concluded that accountability and transparency “is not a one way street”.

It is understood that all Cabinet ministers are expected to be briefed on the planned motion this Sunday.

“This Sunday most likely we will be discussing the issue in the briefing with the Law Minister,” a Cabinet source told Malay Mail.

There are talks that the government could table other major Bills, including Amendment to Article 119 of the Federal Constitution to amend the eligibility age for voting, Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), the abolition of the mandatory death penalty, and the National Financial Crime Centre (NFCC).

Malay Mail could not independently verify the information.