Track MPs’ income, assets via special unit, says don

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Wednesday that all ministers have been ordered to declare their assets within a month.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has been urged to set up a special unit or agency to record and monitor the sources of income and assets of ministers, deputy ministers and members of Parliament.

Political analyst Prof Nasrudin Mohammed said that in some countries a special agency, which is an asset regulator or a register of interests, “will record and monitor assets owned by certain individuals in a transparent manner”.

He said setting up a special agency would ensure that information or data on assets owned by these people would be recorded holistically and in a transparent manner with the objective of upholding integrity.

He made the suggestion when appearing on the current affairs programme Buletin Bernama on Bernama TV today.

Prof Nasrudin Mohammed of UiTM, Shah Alam.

Nasrudin is a lecturer at the Faculty of Administrative Science and Policy Studies of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Shah Alam.

He said the jurisdiction of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission is to conduct enforcement and investigations on corruption, and not as an agency or entity to manage the record of individuals’ assets.

He said currently the country does not have a specialised module related to asset declaration for the purpose.

In order to establish a module or mechanism for asset declaration, it would take a while to formulate as various aspects have to be taken into account, he said.

He added that among the aspects that needed to be emphasised were the subjects (individuals involved), and those who have close relations to these individuals, should also be required to declare their assets, as practiced in developed countries.

“Even the types of assets also need to be recorded and clearly identified,” he added.

The guidelines of the United Nations Convention against Corruption can be used as a guide for Malaysia to devise a special module on asset declaration, he said.

Nasruddin said the move (asset declaration) would strengthen the people’s confidence in the integrity of the leaders especially the ministers.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, at the first Cabinet meeting of the new government, ordered all Cabinet members to declare their assets. They were given a month to do so as part of government commitment to combat corruption.