A new law warranting a mandatory declaration of assets by elected representatives is in the works. (NSTP Archive)

KUALA LUMPUR: A new law warranting a mandatory declaration of assets by elected representatives is in the works.

If passed, the law will also cover senior government officials under the Jusa C grade and above.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy chief commissioner (prevention) Datuk Shamshun Baharin Mohd Jamil said the new legislation was in the proposal stage.

The new law, when adopted, would be expanded to include opposition members of parliament and state assemblymen.

“MACC is completing the bill’s final draft, which is expected to be concluded by year end.

“We are scrutinising several mechanisms, including similar laws in other countries such as Indonesia and South Korea,” he said.

Shamshun said the initiative to introduce a legislation came following Pakatan Harapan’s move to make it compulsory for its members of parliament and government administrative personnel to submit their asset declaration to MACC.

He said MACC was also mulling introducing legal provisions pertaining to asset declaration as a pertinent element in the MACC Act 2009 or as new law.

“The implementation (of the law) does not involve only the declaration, but also covers the screening and verification (by MACC).

“MACC would need sufficient manpower to verify the declaration of assets,” he said.

MACC will launch its special MyDeclaration portal on asset declaration by the middle of this month.

The new portal will allow the public to check the list of assets owned by government administrative personnel, such as houses, cars, lands, buildings, businesses and bank accounts.

Names of MPs who fail to declare their assets will be published on the website.

Shamshun said the portal would enable the public to access information on assets owned by PH MPs and administrative personnel as part of the government’s move to ensure transparency.

“The initiative is carried out in line with the civil service and administrative members’ code of ethics and is deemed to be the right step to ensure that the government is free from corruption,” he said.

PH secretariat chief, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, said a motion to compel MPs to submit their declaration of assets would be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on Oct 15.

“The proposal was discussed at the weekly cabinet meeting on Wednesday and Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo has been entrusted to table the motion.

“We, the ministers and deputies, will declare our assets.

“I think this is important to improve transparency, accountability and integrity among senior government officials.

“So we hope that all MPs would do the same, so that the people would place their trust in the elected representatives, apart from preventing abuse of power,” he said at the Inland Revenue Board’s social responsibility programme in Pahang on Saturday.