Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’s statement that he is in fear of being targeted by criminals if he declares his assets publicly, is unacceptable and a poor excuse for the lack of accountability and transparency that many public officials and politicians are guilty of.
State PKR chairman Baru Bian who is Ba Kelalan assemblyman, said Tengku Adnan’s statement gave the impression that this country was overrun with gangsters and criminals, which did not reflect well on our law enforcement bodies.
However, he said that was not the point. “The issue here is whether the government is serious in its effort to curb corruption, and if it is, the starting point is with exemplary leadership.
“It is difficult to insist that all public officials declare their assets publicly when the No 1 public official, the prime minister, does not do so, unlike the top public officials in USA and Hong Kong.
“Top Malaysian government officials and cabinet ministers are required to confidentially declare their assets to the prime minister, which are accessible to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
“The question that needs to be asked – why declare to the prime minister and not to MACC directly? There is no independent mechanism to verify what is declared, according to the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS). So this practice defeats the purpose of the declarations.”
Baru pointed out that the necessity of a system for the declaration of assets was to prevent conflict of interest situations and abuse of power, and to detect illicit wealth.
“The reluctance of certain public figures to declare their assets is not surprising, given the system of patronage where development contracts and projects are politicised to support the cronies of those in power.
“These unjust methods of the government authorities in awarding contracts breed corruption. This is the heart of the matter, and as long as the BN/Umno government is in place, I do not expect the system to change anytime soon, and
we will continue to hear excuses from these rich officials for refusing to declare their assets publicly.”
Baru Bian @ The Borneo Post