Bandar Kuching MP supports asset declaration for transparency, accountability and good governance

Dr Kelvin Yii

KUCHING, July 1: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii strongly welcomes the intention of the government to table the motion to compel MPs to declare assets to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in line with the spirit of transparency, accountability and good governance.

He said any failure to comply with the motion, if passed, will amount to contempt of House and thus any MP could be referred to the privileges committee.

“Since the change of government on May 9 last year, the new Pakatan Harapan (PH) government has introduced multiple anti-corruption policies and initiatives to better promote transparency and to stamp out the cancer of corruption that has crippled the country.

“This was further enforced through the launching of a five-year National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP) which includes asset declarations,” he said in a statement today.

Since last year, all PH ministers, deputy ministers and MP have declared their assets including those of spouses and family, he revealed.

All such information is available online and open for public scrutiny.

“Politicians, as public officials, should not fear declaring their assets and must be willing to have their wealth scrutinised by the public. There is nothing to be worried about if you have worked hard and earned your wealth by honest means,” he opined.

Adding that this initiative is important and needed even in Sarawak, Dr Yii hoped that all MPs in Sarawak including those from Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) will follow suit.

He urged Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to adopt this policy at the state government level and make all state ministers and assemblymen (ADUN) declare their assets as well in the spirit of transparency and accountability.

“While there are often allegations of state ministers and leaders living lavish lifestyles beyond their means, an adoption of this policy in the state will further help restore public confidence in the state government,” he said, adding that this is among many other needed anti-corruption measures.

He also said this is very important especially with the increase of development budget by the state government this year and also upcoming allocations from the federal government to ensure that all these public funds benefit the people and not just those in power.

“The aim of the declaration of assets is not just to prevent corruption. It is also to increase transparency and the trust of the public administration, to prevent conflicts of interest, illicit enrichment and false accusation of their wealth and to monitor wealth of politicians and public servants. This is a valid demand because they hold power over allocation of resources and their salaries are paid through taxes,” Dr Yii said.

He also suggested that the declaration of assets should not only be done periodically and kept on record by an effective independent body but it is also appropriate to have forensic accounting experts and investigators monitor the assets periodically.

“An asset-profiling system should be introduced to determine how many assets personnel are expected to have based on their positions, years of service and their present and past emoluments. Asset profiling should include those of their spouses, and dependents along with any business interest, or institutions they may be part of.”

He also urged the Law Minister to look at certain amendments to existing laws including MACC laws to give more bite to the need to declare to not allow loopholes or certain quarters abusing this noble initiative. — DayakDaily