Sabah PKR slams Hisham for protecting Cabinet’s wealth

By Queville To, Free Malaysia Today

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah PKR has taken to task Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein for dismissing a proposal to force ministers to publicly declare their assets. Hishammuddin’s contention that it is enough for ministers to only inform the prime minister of their financial worth is outrageous, Sabah PKR treasurer Roland Chia Ming Shen said.

He said Hishammuddin’s stand was defective because all elected representatives and those in executive powers owed their loyalty to the people and not the prime minister.

“It was the rakyat who voted them into power,” he said yesterday.

He also noted that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), which mooted the proposal (to force ministers to declare their assets publicly), comes under the purview of Parliament.

“Thus the home minister must respect the doctrine of separation of powers of the three branches of government, namely Parliament, Judiciary and Executive and not try to sidestep what MACC has been appointed to do. Otherwise, MACC will lose its credibility in the eyes of the public,” he said.

Citing both Indonesia and the US, where their leaders declare their assets as part of their anti-graft drives, Chia said Malaysian ministers should have no qualms at declaring their assets to the public “if they have nothing to hide”.

He said those who choose or aspire to hold high position in public office have the obligation to be open to public scrutiny when they assume office.

“It’s a choice they have to make. If they want to have privacy, then please don’t hold high public office…

“What have they got to hide? MACC, please keep pushing the issue. It is fundamental to transparency and accountability.

“Today it will cost nothing if the declarations are published in the PM’s Department website or any other government website,” he said.