PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli has reiterated the importance of declaring assets to the public amid news that MACC is probing an aide to Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu.
He said that while the investigation could cause embarrassment to Pakatan Harapan, it could also serve as a lesson with regard to efforts to strengthen the coalition.
In a statement today, Rafizi appealed to the government to reconsider its decision to make it compulsory for ministers to declare their assets to MACC alone.
Instead, he said the federal government must introduce laws which make asset declaration to the public mandatory for those below:
“This is the best method... If a politician does not want to declare his or her assets to the public, then this person is not qualified to be in the public sector and is more suited for the private sector.
“The latest case involving the minister's aide should serve as an example of the need for strict asset declaration laws,” said the PKR leader in a statement this afternoon.
According to Rafizi, the case also exposed the risks faced by members of the new Harapan government due to old habits.
He pointed out that while the government has changed, the same old players who are accustomed to offering bribes remain as suppliers.
“They also know which politicians or aides require money... There are also politicians and aides who are seduced by the offers of wealth, something they have not tasted when in the opposition.
“Because of this, those who deal with the federal government will attempt to get into the good books of the ministers, especially through their close aides,” he added.
Therefore, Rafizi said it is important to scrutinise the relationship between lobbyists and those dealing with the federal government to reduce the room for corruption.
“I am sure the federal government will introduce new rules to further tighten the code of ethics for government leaders and their officers.
“For example, the government can enforce a 'declaration of interest' for each meeting between the private sector or lobbyists and ministers or their officers,” he added.
Yesterday, Malaysiakini reported that MACC is investigating Mohamad's aide over an RM800,000 assistance he had allegedly received to settle his bankruptcy status.