Opposition MPs defend decision not to declare assets

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang says his party’s MPs do not have to declare their assets.

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition leaders have defended their decision not to declare their assets after Dewan Rakyat Speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof revealed that as many as 62 MPs have not done so.

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang said his party’s MPs did not have to declare their assets as he believed the motion that was passed did not follow the law and federal constitution.

What was more important, he said, was sincerity.

”It doesn’t feel like it meets the law and is constitutional. That’s more of a promise from Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) manifesto.

“What’s more important is sincerity. Without sincerity, there’s no meaning,” he said on the sidelines of the Umno general assembly here today.

De facto law minister Liew Vui Keong said yesterday that 160 of the 222 MPs had declared their assets to the Dewan Rakyat speaker before the deadline ended at 5pm.

Ariff confirmed that many of those who did not declare were from the opposition, with 38 from Barisan Nasional – 36 from Umno and one each from MCA and MIC – 18 from PAS, three from GPS, one from Parti Solidariti Tanahairku (STAR) and two independents.

He said only three BN MPs had handed in their forms – two from Umno and one from MCA – while all 139 PH MPs had done so.

Meanwhile, opposition leader Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Umno MPs would not declare their assets as there was no written law for it, even under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

“There is no law, so what was done by the speaker is outside of our country’s law. The motion was no correct because parliament rules can only be applied to parliamentary matters.

“It doesn’t involve matters outside, including family. Here, even wives and children are getting tied (to the declaration of assets).

“The spirit to declare assets was initiated to avoid abuse of power. So, I would agree that ministers and deputy ministers should do so.

“But members of the opposition have no power to approve anything. So why should there be fear that we will abuse our power or add to our wealth? There’s no need to declare assets,” he said.