PUTRAJAYA: Members of Parliament (MPs) who fail to declare their assets by Dec 5 risk being fined and suspended from the August house, Datuk Liew Vui Keong (pix) warned today.
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department pointed out that they would be considered as being in contempt of the Dewan Rakyat, as the matter has been debated and passed in the lower house back in July.
Action can be taken by the Dewan Rakyat Speaker against those who do not adhere, he said.
“Enough notice and reminders have been given to all the MPs, so if they still don’t want to file their asset declaration, then the Speaker can take action.
“He can cite them for contempt of the house and probably suspend them, or issue a monetary punishment, which at this moment is around a RM1,000 fine,” he told reporters after attending the National Stakeholders Consultation on the Right to Information Legislation, here.
“This is part of the parliamentary standing order. And in the Dewan Rakyat, the Speaker is like the boss. If you don’t behave, he has a say. I don’t understand the opposition’s decision for not wanting to declare.”
Liew was asked to comment on statements made by certain opposition MPs that they could refuse to declare their assets as there was no existing law to compel them to do so.
It was reported that to date, all government lawmakers have their declared their assets, while most from the opposition has not done it, since the motion for asset declaration was passed in July.
MPs were initially required to make asset declarations before Oct 1, but the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday agreed to extend the deadline to Dec 5 to allow more time for the opposition.
On concerns raised by some in the opposition that declaring their asset might put their family members at risk of extortion and kidnapping, Liew said the matter does not arise, noting how none of the government lawmakers have faced such issue.
“Even before we passed the motion in Dewan Rakyat in July, the government MPs have separately made declarations to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission way back in October last year.
“Thus far, there has not been a single case of extortion or kidnapping involving any of the ministers and MPs. I sincerely hope all the (opposition) MPs will declare their assets promptly,” he said.