This is from the MalaysianInsider today:
MCA today asked the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to give examples of countries which asked their Cabinet members to declare their assets to the public.
Its president, Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, said to his knowledge, no country practised such a policy.
“Even in the United States, they only declare their assets to the president. They don’t go around announcing their assets here and there,” he told reporters after opening Perak MCA’s annual convention here today.
Dr Chua said this when asked to comment on remarks made by MACC chief Datuk Seri Abu Kassim Mohammed that he wished to see the public declaration of assets by Cabinet and judiciary members in Malaysia.
Abu Kassim yesterday was reported to have said that he agreed with a suggestion by former Bar Council president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan which called for Cabinet members to declare their assets to the public in the interest of transparency.
Presently, Cabinet members declare the assets annually to the prime minister.
I support Abu Kassim in this. Since the cabinet is made up of people voted in by the people and is supposed to act as proxies for the people , there is such a thing called accountability. They are the representatives of the people and by virtual of being paid by the public, they are public servants. And the public has the right to know about whether they have amassed unusual amount of wealth while in office. If that is so, something must be wrong somewhere and MACC must be given power to investigate.
It is very simple. For a Minister to stay in a house worth tens of millions, like what a former MB’s house was estimated to be, there must be something wrong, since even if they saved every single cent while in office, it is just not possible.
If they can be clean, I , as a tax payer and their ultimate boss, do not actually mind to pay them higher salary, like the little red dot is doing down south. I am sure most of you do not mind paying them higher salary so that they can live comfortably as a public servants if only they can be clean and there is no corruptions.
Just because other countries are not doing it does not mean that Malaysia should not do it, if it is good. We should not follow people blindly.
Just like the chipped passport, which I believe Malaysia is one of the first to adopt, why cant we be the first to do something which is good and which is not done elsewhere in the world?
That is what leadership is about!