All eyes on move for all MPs to declare assets

KUALA LUMPUR: A motion to compel all Members of Parliament to declare their income and assets to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission is expected to take centre stage when the Dewan Raykat meets again from Monday.

The order paper for proceedings in the house contains a motion, expected to be tabled by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Liew Vui Keong, to require MPs, their spouses and children, and trustees to declare their assets in the form of a Statutory Declaration.

The motion states that the statutory declaration needs to be submitted to the Speaker within three months of the motion being adopted by the House. The asset declaration will then be displayed at the MACC website.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was reported to have said that all MPs would be required to declare their assets because they all wield influence which could be used to get ‘payments’.

At present, government MPs and members of the administration voluntarily declare their assets. Details are displayed publicly on the MACC Asset Declaration Portal.

According to the portal, so far 124 government MPs have declared their assets.

Another issue expected to grab attention is of lowering the voting age from 21 to 18.

Election Commission chairman Azhar Azizan Harun has been reported as saying that a motion on this was expected to be tabled on July 4. An amendment to the Constitution is required, and a two-thirds majority or the support of at least 148 of the 222 MPs, would be needed for it to pass.

On April 9 this year, the government failed in its bid to amend the Federal Constitution to restore the original status of Sabah and Sarawak as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963, when the support received was 10 votes short of the required two-thirds majority.

Pakatan Harapan, with their Sabah partners Warisan and Upko, now have a combined 139 seats in the Dewan Rakyat.

Several bills are also expected to be tabled for first reading in this session, including Peaceful Assembly (Amendment) Bill 2019, Youth Development and Youth Associations (Amendment) Bill 2019 and Consumer Protection (Amendment) Bill 2019.

The Dewan Rakyat will meet for 12 days, from Monday until July 18.