MACC: Too soon to draw conclusions from MPs’ latest asset declarations

Thasha Jayamanogaran
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Chief Commissioner Latheefa Koya speaks to reporters at the Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel December 12, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 12 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's (MACC) is still examining the 2019 asset declarations from 130 federal lawmakers, including Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s, Latheefa Koya said today.

The MACC chief commissioner was responding to questions about a Malaysiakini article that concluded the PM’s monthly income rose 31 per cent to exceed RM100,000.

“I’m not sure how Malaysiakini got or did their comparison. We (MACC) are yet to sit down and put together or compare previous data.

“It is too premature to establish anything now. We need a couple of weeks to compare and verify because there could be added assets for some MPs for various reasons. All this will be taken into account and updated.

“Some might have purchased new properties or got married which translates to added assets... there are situations as such,” she said this morning at a forum titled ‘Unmasking The Corrupt Through Beneficial Ownership Transparency’ held at the Sheraton Imperial here.

Latheefa said making asset declaration compulsory was to enhance transparency, adding that investigations will only take place if someone complains of wrongdoing.

“Parliament had passed the idea of asset declaration so that the next time there is a case of mass wealth that doesn’t match the amount declared, they or investigators can check through asset declaration list. It’s for all to see.”

She also clarified that under-declaring and falsely declaring is an offence on its own.

“From year to year, they have to declare even if it’s middle of the year, something like an uncle passed away and gave big fortunes.

“You have to declare and don’t say after you’re caught and charged, that, this and that happened. That’s what asset declaration is about,” she added.

Latheefa also confirmed the MACC has yet to receive complaints on mass wealth or wrongdoings against MPs who have declared their assets.

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