Malaysiakini News

Transparency means asset declarations by all public officials

Kua Kia Soong  |  Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | The torrid exposure of the ostentatious wealth seized from the residencies of the former prime minister and the mantra of transparency by the new Pakatan Harapan government points to the urgent need for full asset declarations by all public officials.

To presume that corruption and ostentatious wealth are only afflictions that affect the BN politicians and not those from Harapan is the ultimate in naivete.

Corruption is a key threat to the growth of our nation and its institutions. Fighting corruption and promoting good public governance must be the top priorities of the new government.

Making it mandatory for all public officials to declare all their assets, including those of their spouses and children, is crucial to the campaign to prevent corruption in politics.

The leaders of the three branches of government – executive, legislative and judiciary – and senior civil servants should be required to file asset declarations before and after taking office, as well as periodically while they are in office.

The United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), which has been ratified by 166 countries, requires a legal framework for asset declarations of government officials.

Asset declaration that is open to public scrutiny is a way for citizens to ensure leaders do not abuse their power for personal gain, the corollary of corruption...

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