By Geryl Ogilvy
KUCHING, July 3: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Members of Parliament (MPs) should give full cooperation and submit their asset declarations within the shortest period of time if they have nothing to hide.
Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) organising secretary Violet Yong said the 19 GPS MPs should not come up with many excuses to delay the Pakatan Harapan government’s initiative to push for clean and transparent governance and administration.
“If the GPS MPs had obtained their private assets by legal means, then they should be able to give full cooperation and submit their asset declaration within the shortest period of time. As the saying goes, ‘real gold is not afraid of the furnace fire’.
“In other words, if they do not proceed with their asset declaration, it simply means that the GPS MPs’ transparency is to be questioned, as they have kept things concealed,” she told a press conference at DAP headquarters here today.
The Pending assemblywoman also quoted state Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Razim Mohd Noor as saying that the department had already handed over asset declaration documents with complete guidelines and samples to the chief minister (on how to submit asset declaration) in March.
“Unfortunately, GPS MPs till today, are still avoiding the matter and have yet to submit their asset declarations. This is indeed a very irresponsible act,” she alleged.
Yong pointed out that all MPs should respect and obey the motion that was passed by Parliament. Furthermore, MPs are lawmakers themselves and should be leading by example.
Any MP who goes against the motion that was passed in Parliament may be seen as acting in contempt of Parliament and thus, can be referred to the Committee of Privileges for action to be taken under Section 80A of the Standing Orders of the Dewan Rakyat, she continued.
Yong described the approval of the motion two days ago for all MPs to declare their assets as a pioneering achievement, which proved that Pakatan Harapan-led federal government was making a serious effort in combating corruption and showing strong determination for reform.
She added that since Pakatan Harapan took office last year, fellow ministers, deputies and MPs were requested to report to MACC and declare assets that belonged to them and their spouses.
On a separate note, Yong chided Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) leader Tan Kai, who demanded Chong Chieng Jen disclose how the eight food and beverage (F&B) manufacturers in Sarawak were granted sugar import permits (APs).
He challenged the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) Deputy Minister to announce the names of the companies, selection criteria, approval process and eligibility so as to prove the APs were not abused or granted to cronies.
In response, Yong said the permits issued by KPDNHEP is one such example of the federal government trying to do away with the monopolistic market of sugar in Sarawak.
This is by allowing local F&B manufacturers to import sugar directly from other markets instead having to buy from the two refineries — MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd and Central Sugar Refinery Sdn Bhd (CSR) — that have been monopolising the market.
This would help local F&Bs to lower production costs to give them edge to compete in foreign markets.
“We are trying to open up the market but it seems that some quarters are against the liberalisation policy. Whatever allegation made by Tan Kai is baseless, unwarranted and uncalled for.
“As political secretary to the Chief Minister, he has 19 Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) MPs to raise the issue in Parliament and directly ask for details from the ministry.”
Yong said the permit application is submitted directly to KPDNHEP without going through middlemen, DAP or even Chong. — DayakDaily