MoCS and MTUC Sarawak back motion for lawmakers to declare assets

Francis Siah - file pic

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By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, July 1: Both Movement for Change Sarawak (MoCS) and Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) Sarawak described the special motion to compel all lawmakers to declare their assets tabled in Parliament today as ‘timely’ and considered it as long overdue.

“MoCS supports the move which is long overdue. It’s about time that all public servants declare their assets, which should be made public.

“Parliament should go a step further by making it mandatory for members of royalty to do so as well. Some have embarked on a lavish lifestyle, far beyond the inheritance of the royal household. The declaration of assets is now across the board as all legislators, including those in the opposition, must do so,” said MoCS chief Francis Siah told DayakDaily today.

He stressed that if Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail and other senior Pakatan Harapan such as Datuk Seri Annuar Ibrahim, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Lim Guan Eng have done so, then it should be extended to all opposition lawmakers as well.

“Those who have nothing to hide should welcome the move and readily declare their assets and that of their immediate family members. It’s a right step towards the eradication of corruption which has plagued the nation for so long,” said Siah.

On a similar note, MTUC Sarawak secretary-general, Andrew Lo also said there is now absolutely no reason for MPs to oppose the ruling unless they have something to hide.

Andrew Lo

“This law should be extended to include governors, senators, senior civil servants and trade union officials as well,” stressed Lo.

Both Siah and Lo was commenting on a special motion to compel all lawmakers to declare their assets, which  was tabled by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and de-facto Law Minister Datuk Liew Vui Keong in Parliament today.

The motion proposed that those who failed to declare their assets would be hauled before Parliament’s Select Committee on Rights and Privileges.

However, MPs who make false declarations will be subjected to prosecution under Section 3, Act 783 (Statutory Declaration) and Section 193 of the Penal Code, which carries a jail term not exceeding three years or a fine.

Liew also stressed that that the motion was based on the principles of accountability and transparency.

The asset declaration, if approved, will compel all Dewan Rakyat members to declare their property, including that of their spouses, children and trustees in a Statutory Declaration, as prescribed by the Speaker.

“The Statutory Declaration shall be submitted to the Yang di-Pertua within three months from the date of this motion is agreed upon and copied to the chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

“The list of the members of the Dewan Rakyat who have declared their property shall be displayed on the MACC portal, and only the details of the declaration of the property of that member shall be posted on the portal for a period of three months from the date of receipt of the Statutory Declaration by the MACC,” added Liew.

Currently, there are no laws to compel lawmakers to declare their assets. — DayakDaily