While Pakatan Rakyat leaders cited the lack of credibility on the part of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to vet their candidates, Barisan Nasional leaders said they feared personal safety over any move to make them declare their wealth.
“We can’t be announcing all our assets to all the citizens? We need to think about the representatives’ safety,” said Kota Belud MP Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
Quoted by The Malaysian Insider, Abdul Rahman said assets should only be declared to prime minister Najib Razak.
His view echoes the reaction from minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz when he categorically rejected any move by MACC to have cabinet members and their immediate families to make assets declaration.
A BN MP from Sarawak, Batang Lupar’s Rohani Abdul Karim meanwhile raised eyebrows when she said she had already declared assets to Sarawak chief minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, who is himself in the thick of controversy following a revelation that his wealth stood at a staggering US$15 billion.
Last month, Sarawak PAS Youth wing challenged Sarawak BN leaders specifically Taib to declare their wealth. It followed Swiss-based NGO Bruno Manser Fund’s revelation of an audit report which among others show Taib’s family had amassed the wealth alongside an empire of over 400 companies worldwide through decades of political office.
MACC has come under intense criticism over recent inaction despite documented reports of corruption involving several BN leaders.
The body recently exonerated Sabah chief minister Musa Aman from the S$16 million (RM40 million) scandal linked to the arrest of a timber tycoon, as well as Melaka chief minister Mohd Ali Rustam over his son’s mammoth wedding feast whose costs were reportedly borne by state-owned Melaka State Development Corporation and which mobilised several government agencies.
Earlier, PR leaders reacted coldly to MACC’s proposal to vet candidates of all political parties.
Chairman of MACC’s Consultation and Corruption Prevention Panel, Johan Jaafar, argued that it was to ensure they were ‘clean’ and therefore would prevent ‘baseless accusations’ of corruption thrown by their opponents.