Wednesday, May 22, 2013
DAP elected representatives are prepared to declare assets publicly if the ruling is made an act of law but we are not agreeable to only a secret declaration to MACC
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's (MACC) Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel has proposed that all elected representatives in Parliament and state assemblies should declare their assets to it every three years, "to ensure integrity in government administration".
In principle, the DAP completely agrees that the declaration of assets by elected representatives of the parliament and state assemblies is a positive move “to ensure integrity”, to increase scrutiny and to curb corruption.
However, given MACC’s complete lack of credibility and its penchance to act as the cat’s paw of the ruling Barisan Nasional government, we cannot agree to the terms to rely on MACC as the sole arbiter of whether an elected representative is living beyond his means.
The MACC has proven over the past 5 years that it is not competent in investigating and uncovering corruption among the ‘big fishes’ entrenched in the ruling party. Worse, the MACC has been completely impartial in its actions by targetting only Pakatan Rakyat representatives. The MACC went on a witch hunt in Selangor, seizing files from the state government and raiding the offices of it state assemblymen without basis or justification in the hope of securing evidence of corruption or abuse of power.
The assistant of state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, Teoh Beng Hock was even hauled up with his rights denied overnight on the 14th floor of the Selangor MACC office over the purchase of Malaysian flags for the amount of RM2,400. While MACC has closed the files because there was absolutely no case against Ean Yong, Teoh’s life has been sacrificed as a result, having been found dead on the 5th floor of the MACC. What is most galling is the fact that the officers directly responsible for Teoh’s death have since been promoted for their deeds.
There was also the attempt by MACC to tarnish the image of Selangor Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim just before the Hulu Selangor by-elections. The then MACC Chief Commissioner, Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan had declared publicly that the MACC had evidence of the Menteri Besar’s corruption.
The cases were so incredulous, where Tan Sri Khalid was accused of corruption because of donation of cattles to local mosques to celebrate Hari Raya Haji as well as petrol claims for using his personal vehicle as the official state car. The accusations have since been withdrawn, and the MACC has cleared Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim of any wrong-doing.
In fact, Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan was forced to apologise publicly to Tan Sri Khalid for his false accusations which have damaged the latter’s reputation.
It is clear that the MACC, while “independent” on paper, serves only the political interest of Barisan Nasional. As a result, any declaration of assets solely to MACC is a pointless exercise as MACC will only scrutinise the assets of Pakatan Rakyat representatives and not that of Barisan Nasional.
The elected representatives of DAP are not fearful of public scrutiny and are prepared to declare assets publicly. We challenge the MACC Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel to advice the Prime Minister to require all elected representatives to declare their assets. And if the Panel finds such a requirement too onerous, it should at the very least require all Federal Ministers as well as State Executive Councillors to declare assets publicly.
All DAP elected representatives have signed an Integrity Pledge on the 11th May 2013 at our National Conference of Elected Representatives, which included a clause for the “public declaration of assets once appointed to executive positions of Government” whether in the Federal or State levels. I for one, am prepared to declare assets publicly because I know whatever assets that is in my possession is earned honestly without a single sen obtained from the tax-payers’ money via corrupt means.
Anything less that a commitment to a blanket public declaration of assets by the Prime Minister as well as the MACC will prove that they lack the sincerity to tackle corruption, particularly by those in power in this country.