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'If ministers were to declare assets, some may go to jail'

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YOURSAY 'The 'danger' is to the ministers, their spouses and families because the rakyat will be shocked to find out how much of wealth they have amassed.'

Public disclosure of ministers' assets 'dangerous'

your say FellowMalaysian: Irrepressible Nazri Abdul Aziz never fail to stir controversies. With such display of confidence, he sounded his wise concern if ministers' assets were made public.

As the de facto law minister, he is shrinking from his pristine duties of public accountability and transparency. His views are atrocious and indeed vexatious, and he ought to be cautioned and reprimanded.

Otherwise, his statement would have made fools of the Japanese and German and Italian cabinet ministers who have all similarly declared their assets online.

Imagine what a potential foreign investor would think of a country's governance which openly supports sequestering of wealth.

Not Confused: Nazri, you continue to show us what a complete and utter disgrace you are to this country and that you do not deserve to be in your position.

Surely the objective of disclosing the assets of everyone in the government, including spouses and children, is essential to demonstrate that the government is transparent and that there is no undue wealth held by anyone that cannot be supported by their bona fide income from their positions in government or business activities.

If they are unhappy to disclose their assets, it clearly shows that they have something to hide, does it not?

Don't treat us like idiots - the reasoning behind the refusal of you and your colleagues is as plain as the nose on your face.

Fade2grey: Nazri is hinting at two things here; both of which is BN's doing:

1) How big of an extent of wealth and properties can a minister acquire based on their current remuneration? And what amount of wealth and properties that they could possibly have that should surprise us?

2) Can the police not protect them from these dangers? If the police can, then there is no danger; if they can't, that means that the government has failed in creating a proper police force.

Cherry Bun: What nonsense Nazri was talking about. In every democratic societies, public figures such as ministers have to show that their wealth derives from proper means.

If any minister is afraid of declaring what he/she has, it indicates something dirty and dishonest.

Nazri, do you mean the Penang chief minister and executive councillors are now in danger after they have declared their wealth?

Changeagent: In countries like South Korea, Japan, United States and Australia, the public have a constitutional right of free access to asset declaration information by public officials.

Even former communist countries like Latvia and Romania have a robust system of publishing public officials' asset disclosures.

Contrary to Nazri's assertions, this has not endangered their politicians at all. Instead, it has enhanced the legitimacy of the government in the eyes of the public and helped stimulate more foreign direct investment.

Macha97: Yes, it's dangerous for them to declare their wealth because they could all land in jail.

Boonpou: I am so dumbfounded by this so-called minister who is supposed to have a law degree. What is he saying? I am waiting for Malaysia to be rid of such pathetic numbskull, and many others like him.

Come on, if you can't make a decent argument, no matter how polemic it is, don't. Stop making a fool out of yourself.

This is the legacy of the racist NEP (New Economic Policy). We ended up having half-cooked, half-boiled leaders.

Ramesh Rajaratnam: There's a concept called 'volunti not fit injuria' that means, when you undertake a specific job that has known risks, you cannot later seek remedy for the injury suffered. Like football players cannot claim for a broken leg.

So if you stand as a public official, as ministers and others, you should be prepared to have your life made public. If the heat is too much in the kitchen, get out.

It's absurd to hide under the veil of personal security when you want public acclaim. But then again, this is a country where the Chow Kit police base was moved out because there was danger to police personnel.

Armageddon: All ministers must be billionaires and that is why they are worried to declare their assets to the public. They must be evading income tax as well.

Lim Chong Leong: Nazri is afraid to disclose how many taxi licences he holds. It would be dangerous because it will enrage the public into a killing mob who will hang him in public if they knew how much he stole from the people over the years.

And imagine Sarawak CM Abdul Taib Mahmud declaring his assets. It will be an entire trilogy of books, with indexing, table of contents, cross referencing, bibliography, prologue, epilogue, acknowledgments, footnotes, etc.

We will probably need an actual publisher and printing house for the task.

Absolom: Mr Minister, I see your point, even if it is such a pathetic attempt at an excuse. Why not submit a list of all assets and liabilities to a reliable audit firm such as PWC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) and let them make public only the net worth figure, whether it is say RM200 million or RM1 billion.

While we are at it, I think the public would also want to see certain ex-ministers declare their assets too, and explain how they have amassed such fortunes on government pay cheques, but I think that would be even more 'dangerous'.

Gerard Samuel Vijayan: The ‘danger' is to the ministers, their spouses and families because the rakyat will be shocked to find out how much of wealth, power and privilege that they have amassed over the years on their meagre ministerial salaries.

Their lifestyle and behaviour, both in public and private, cannot be sustained based on their ‘official' salaries and perks. This is a can of worms for Umno-BN and Pakatan Rakyat should harp on this refusal or fear to make a full and frank public disclosure in all their ceramahs, especially in the rural Malay heartland.

If Umno ministers claim to be "clean, responsible, decent and pious" Muslims, why the fear to disclose? They are already protected by the SB (Special Branch) and police, so what threat to their lives?

This is the lamest excuse and most irresponsible statement ever coming from a minister in 50 years.

And disclosure to the PM alone is not enough. It is just like a band of thieves confiding in their leader. Why fear the public if you have nothing to hide?

Passing Cloud: Aren't you foolish, Nazri? How could it be dangerous? It's dangerous only for corrupt ministers to be exposed. Otherwise, aren't there laws, the police, the judiciary, the Umno-BN government to protect the ministers?

To the corrupt ministers, exposure of their assets for public scrutiny is the only danger to their political careers. Dangerous or otherwise, public disclosure of their assets is a must for ministers to ensure they stay away from corrupt practices and remain clean.

2CTS Worth : Nazri is correct here. The staggering sums in the bank and the voluminous property will attract crocodiles and sharks in their midst and create jealousies.

This will also neon-lit the amount of unaccountable sum derived from corruption. To quote a VIP lady, "Who in Umno has no such problem?"

Quigonbond: Of course, ministers will be endangered. With millions in their accounts, they will not only be targets for kidnappers but also angry Malaysian mob seeking justice over a corrupt regime.


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