Asset declaration will boost PM’s image but not within BN, says analyst

The mandatory declaration of assets by members of the judiciary and heads of government-linked companies (GLCs) announced by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob may boost his popularity among the public but not within his party, says an analyst.

(FMT) – Azmil Tayeb of Universiti Sains Malaysia said the move would give Ismail a “reformer image” on which he could campaign, distinguishing him from those before him.

“However, it might not make people in Umno and Barisan Nasional happy because GLC appointments have long been used as a source of political financing and to reward supporters,” he told FMT.

Azmil said declaring assets was only a step to reforming the country’s institutions, and more needed to be done to effectively curb corruption.

Yesterday, Ismail said a new code of ethics for MPs would also be introduced, and the Cabinet would form a committee to oversee the transfer of local council officers to curb corruption and the existence of “little Napoleons”.

Azmi Hassan of Akademi Nusantara said the declaration of assets might not nullify the opposition’s criticisms against Ismail.

“I don’t think the opposition will give full credit to Ismail and they will criticise him for not doing more to get rid of corruption,” he said.

He pointed out that civil servants had to declare their assets every five years and that did not deter corruption.

“The declaration of assets is not the most effective way to curb corruption. Ismail would need a more stringent policy to boost his popularity with the public as an anti-corruption fighter,” he said.

Several MPs lauded Ismail’s statement but stressed that it was not enough in the fight against corruption.

Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil said assets should be declared before, during and after a person assumed a position.