Speaker: Power to punish MPs who don’t declare assets with parliamentary panel, not me

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof clarified that the proper procedure that follows if the government succeeds in passing the Bill in the Dewan Rakyat is for the errant lawmaker to be investigated first by the PSC on Rights and Privileges before deciding on the penalty for the offence. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof clarified that the proper procedure that follows if the government succeeds in passing the Bill in the Dewan Rakyat is for the errant lawmaker to be investigated first by the PSC on Rights and Privileges before deciding on the penalty for the offence. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 — Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof insists he is not the authority to impose punitive measures against MPs who won’t declare their assets.

He clarified that the proper procedure that follows if the government succeeds in passing the Bill in the Dewan Rakyat next week is for the errant lawmaker to be investigated first by the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Rights and Privileges before deciding on the penalty for the offence of acting in contempt of the House, The Star reported on its website today.

“A breach of a resolution of the House properly passed can result in a contempt of the House, for which the offender can be referred to the Select Committee on Rights and Privileges.

“The committee will conduct an inquiry and will decide on the appropriate action to be taken,” he was quoted saying.

De facto law minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong confirmed he will be tabling a Bill to MPs, senators, their spouses and children under the age of 21 to declare their assets through a statutory declaration (SD) which is to be submitted within three months from the date it is approved to the Speaker of the House.

A copy of the declaration will then be submitted to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief, which will then be displayed on the commission’s website.

Liew also said that the Rights and Privileges PSC will review MPs who failed to declare their assets.

However, the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said the terms of the punishment is up to the committee as there is no set rules or laws yet to punish those who failed to declare their assets.

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