Members of parliament (MPs) who fail to declare their assets after the Dec 5 deadline can be suspended from attending the Dewan Rakyat sitting or fined. - NSTP/File pic

PUTRAJAYA: The Dewan Rakyat Speaker can cite members of parliament (MPs) who fail to declare their assets after the Dec 5 deadline for contempt.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong said they could be suspended from attending the Dewan Rakyat sitting or fined.

According to him, Pakatan Harapan (PH) MPs had declared their assets in October 2018, which had been displayed on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's website for public inspection.

Liew also brushed aside unfounded suggestions that security was a reason for not declaring the assets.

"Thus far, there has not been a single case of extortion or kidnapping involving any of the Ministers and MPs, or their family members," he said at the National Stakeholders Consultation on the right to Information Legislation programme.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong speaks to reporters after the National Stakeholders Consultation on the right to Information Legislation programme in Putrajaya. - Bernama

In July, the Dewan Rakyat had unanimously approved a motion compelling all MPs to declare their assets and those of their wives or husbands, children and trustees through a statutory declaration.

The Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (Nov 26) had also agreed to extend the deadline for declaration of assets by MPs to Dec 5 this year.

On this note, Liew said sufficient time had been given for them to do so.

Asked if the Official Secret Act (OSA) would likely co-exist with the proposed Freedom of Information (FOL) Law as told by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Hanipa Maidin at the Dewan Rakyat on Nov 7, Liew replied it would go against the cabinet's decision.

Liew, however, did not deny the possibility to include some provisions in the OSA into FOL, especially when it concerns national defence and security.

On the issue of lack of quorum during the Dewan Rakyat session, Liew said it was not even a problem because there were enough members in attendance to cast votes.

It was reported there was a ruckus during the parliament session on Tuesday's night, when there was insufficient quorum, leading the opposition camps to question the attendance in the respective blocks.

"I will look into the Standing Order (regarding quorum). I also plan to meet the chief whip today to discuss on it," he added.