KUALA LUMPUR, July 19 — Transparency International Malaysia has called for a Parliamentary Asset Declaration Act to be tabled and passed, which will make it compulsory for all elected representatives and senators to declare their assets, incomes and other relevant financial information.
Its president Muhammad Mohan said the declarations should then be kept in a public registry which is openly available to the public and updated at regular intervals.
“We welcome the asset declaration of certain Cabinet members on the public portal hosted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission,” he said in a statement.
Muhammad added that although this was a good move, the website only features the total income and net assets of 57 out of the 70 Cabinet members, with several key ministers and deputies missing from the declaration list.
“The website also does not break down the sources of the income or the roles of these lawmakers in organisations outside of the state and federal government.
“Opposition MPs declared their assets when the Pakatan Harapan government was in power, hence MPs in general should have no qualms about continuing to be accountable to their electorate, regardless which side of the Dewan Rakyat they may be seated,” he said.
Muhammad said the declaration of one’s assets should also disclose all sources of income, the roles held by the MPs, and a breakdown of their salaries and allowances.
“But as long as these declarations are voluntary, they may one day conveniently disappear according to the whims and fancies of those in power.
“All elected officials are accountable and answerable to their electorate. The rakyat are tired of being taken for a ride and inundated with scandals involving big businesses, taxpayer money and public officials,” he said.
In the MACC list, it was revealed last year that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s monthly income was RM93,841.65 and his total assets were worth more than RM10 million.
Human resources minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan was the highest earner with his monthly income of RM143,628.55, and declared assets of less than RM1 million.