S’wak cabinet members, officials urged to declare assets to PM

Chong (centre) speaking to reporters at a press conference at Sarawak DAP headquarters, Kuching this afternoon.

KUCHING, June 10: The Sarawak government should emulate its federal counterpart by declaring the assets of its ministers, assistant ministers and high ranking officials to the Prime Minister, where the newly-established National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption (GIACC) would be the custodian of the information given.

GIACC is headed by its director-general Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed, who is the former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner.

In making the call today, Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Chong Chieng Jen noted that at present, all state ministers, assistant ministers, high ranking officials and political secretaries were required to declare their assets, but only to the state government and Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

This, he argued, was not enough because it lacked a check-and-balance.

“They must also declare their assets to the PM and GIACC. At least there is check and balance.”

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad recently announced that cabinet ministers, deputy ministers, political secretaries and government officials must declare their assets to the prime minister and GIACC.

“The prime minister cannot conceal corruption committed by officers or administrators,” Dr Mahathir said after chairing a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Government Management Integrity at Perdana Putra on June 8.

Chong, who is also Stampin MP and Kota Sentosa assemblyman, said Abang Johari had said before that his administration would work closely with the federal government for the benefit of the rakyat, so this was a good chance for him to show his seriousness by emulating what Dr Mahathir had announced.

“Since Abang Johari said he would support the PH federal government, he must emulate PH’s policy, especially along the line of accountability, good governance and transparency,” said Chong.

The four state ruling component parties, namely Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) and Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), might pull out of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition on June 12. — DayakDaily