KUALA LUMPUR: The Dewan Rakyat today approved the special motion to make it mandatory for all MPs, their spouses, and children above 21 to declare their assets.
This is despite opposition MPs earlier saying the government had brought up a flawed motion to the House.
The motion was approved via a voice vote with no dissenting voice objecting the motion coming from the opposition, while Pakatan Harapan MPs were heard saying “Agree” collectively.
The individual votes of MPs were not recorded as there was no request for a bloc vote. Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof said it was a unanimous decision.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong who behalf of the government pushed the motion, said he had met Mohamad Ariff last week, and he was satisfied that the motion fulfilled the requirements of the Standing Orders.
Liew then told lawmakers that the motion would be the first step before the government draft a new law of such nature and to show government’s effort to increase accountability and transparency in public life.
Liew acknowledged that there was no law to compel MPs to declare their assets but hoped that everyone would comply in good faith.
He said MPs who make false declarations would be subject to prosecution under the Statutory Declarations Act and for giving false evidence under the Penal Code, which carry prison terms if convicted.
“The statutory declaration shall be submitted to the Yang di-Pertua within three months of the date this motion is agreed upon, and copied to the chief commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC),“ Liew said.
During the Dewan Rakyat session today, several MPs from both sides of the divide had debated on the motion and the opposition had questioned the validity of the special motion, asking why an actual Bill was not tabled to compel them to declare their assets.
During the debate, Opposition MPs said they agreed in principle that members had to declare their worth, but insist the motion was distorted citing the motion has no legal basis.