MACC seeks law to make asset declaration compulsory for MPs

MACC seeks law to make asset declaration compulsory for MPs

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is seeking a law to make it compulsory for Members of Parliament to declare their assets, according to MACC deputy chief commissioner (prevention), Datuk Shamshun Baharin Mohd Jamil.

He said the law could be enforced next year if the relevant parties worked towards making it a reality.

“The bill could be tabled in Parliament as early as at the end of this year if everything goes smoothly,” he added in the interview on MACC.fm (My Anti-Corruption Channel), today.

Shamshun Baharin explained that without the compulsory asset-declaration law, the MACC only played a “custodian” role in the case of asset-declaration forms handed to it.

“If Members of Parliament do not declare their assets, only Parliament can take action against them and the penalty is not harsh.

“For now, we don’t have a special law (to make asset declaration compulsory), so we do not perform any sort of verification of the asset declaration documents we receive.

“If matters of corruption arise with the asset declaration, we would invoke provisions under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 to conduct investigations,“ he said, adding that the current asset declaration was only governed by the parliamentary code of ethics.

Shamshun Baharin said parliamentarians must express full support for the proposed law.

In July last year, the Dewan Rakyat unanimously approved a motion compelling all MPs to declare their assets and those of their wives or husbands, children, and trustees through a statutory declaration.

Last March, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin instructed all Cabinet ministers to declare their assets to the MACC in line with the government’s commitment to fighting corruption.

This is also in accordance with the asset declaration by MPs and administration members as stipulated in the Members of Administration Code of Ethics under the National Anti-Corruption Plan 2019-2023 launched in January last year. –Bernama