Brief MPs in private on asset declaration, says GIACC chief

Director-general of the National Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre Abu Kassim Mohamed.

KUALA LUMPUR: A former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief has proposed that the anti-graft agency privately brief MPs on the procedures in the declaration of assets.

Abu Kassim Mohamed, who is currently the director-general of the National Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC), said he will discuss the matter with Dewan Rakyat Speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof.

“I may recommend that the MACC hold a special briefing for MPs on the procedures and justification for asset declaration.

“If they have any concerns, they can have a question and answer session in a closed-door discussion rather than in the open,” he told reporters at the parliament lobby.

Kassim was referring to the special motion that was approved by the Dewan Rakyat yesterday requiring all MPs to declare their assets.

Those who fail to do so risk disciplinary action by the Parliament Select Committee on Rights and Privileges.

In addition, MPs who make false declarations will face prosecution under Section 3, Act 783 (Statutory Declaration) and Section 193 of the Penal Code, which carry a jail term not exceeding three years or a fine.

Kassim said the move to declare asset was aimed at making politicians more accountable and transparent.

He said Malaysia had ratified the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, which recommended that MPs declare their assets.

Asked why several PH MPs have not declared their assets, he said some may need more time.

He said these MPs had only recently joined Pakatan Harapan, and one of them was just sworn in, referring to Sandakan MP Vivian Wong.

The GIACC today opened an information and asset declaration counter at Parliament to assist MPs in filing their declarations.