Malaysiakini News

No to 'half-baked' solutions: Make assets public, PSM tells Harapan

Published:  |  Modified:

PSM is troubled by the Pakatan Harapan government's excuses for not making the asset declarations of its ministers and deputy ministers public.

The party's secretary-general A Sivarajan was responding to Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu, who backed Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's decision that the assets should be declared only to MACC.

“This is certainly a disappointing statement from an ex-opposition firebrand and Amanah president,” Sivarajan said in a statement this morning.

Yesterday, Mohamad, who is popularly referred to as Mat Sabu, said not making the declarations public would prevent certain quarters from jumping to wrong conclusions.

For example, he argued, when a person who is already rich becomes an MP or minister, some quarters would perceive his or her wealth was due to their position in the government.

"MACC would know if an increase in an individual's assets was due to his wage and allowances or through unhealthy means. Which is why MACC is the best body for us to declare our assets to, because while some among the public are wise to judge, others might not be,” Mat Sabu added.

However, Sivarajan noted that Malaysians have time and again witnessed how government agencies compromised their credibility in the interest of their political masters.

“So what is the use of making a declaration to MACC, another government agency?” he asked.

Citing how PSM's former Sungai Siput MP Dr D Michael Jeyakumar publicly declared his assets since he was elected in 2008 up to his defeat in the May 9 general election, Sivarajan said assets must be declared and monitored on an annual basis.

He said this would allow the public to monitor any accumulation of wealth over the years.

“Harapan should fulfil its promises sincerely and not offer half-baked solutions.

“PSM urges Harapan to immediately get its elected representatives to make their asset declarations public, if it is really sincere about the reform agenda,” he added.

Last week, Mahathir said the government was still contemplating as to how much information could be revealed to the public.

“(The asset declaration) may affect the privacy of many more family members (of public officers involved),” Mahathir said.

Mahathir's critics have often accused him of using his position to enrich his children, a charge that he denies.

Last month, Harapan de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim said the massive haul of cash and valuables in relation to the 1MDB scandal investigation necessitated the practice of asset declaration.

Anwar also called for continuous scrutiny of all ministers and leaders by independent bodies to prevent a recurrence of such a "tragedy."

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