Guan Eng has made the following clarifications regarding the asset declarations of the Penang exco.
Guan Eng clarifies:
Yesterday the Penang state government publicly declared the assets of Penang State EXCO members. Today, the Penang state government officially uploads the information of their assets on our government website http://www.penang.gov.my/. Penang State EXCO members holding positions of public trust believe that the rakyat has a right to demand accountability from public officials.
The public declaration of assets fulfils the personal obligation of PR leaders and political commitment of the Penang PR State government towards reinforcing leadership with integrity in line with the CAT principles of Competency, Accountability, Transparency principles.
For the first time in Malaysian history, this public declaration of assets was conducted not by the state government but by an independent audit company. I regret that this important piece of information was not published by certain media and blogs and hope that this can be corrected.
The Penang state government has chosen the internationally renowned accounting firm, KPMG and its senior partner Chartered Accountant Ooi Kok Seng, for the verification exercise and to formulate the template and presented to the public. As an independent audit firm, KPMG is required to uphold the highest standards of professional standards ensuring that it complies with the principles of objectivity, independence and no conflict of interest before undertaking any task.
I also express the hope that the media can publish the information of our assets in full. I regret that basic financial knowledge appears to be lacking when some print the value of assets without stating the loans taken out to purchase them. Or confuse the number of units in unit trusts(10,000 units) with value (RM10,000) as number and value of unit trusts are not equivalent. Most unit trusts are valued be between 30 cents to 50 cents per unit.
The Penang state EXCO members wish to stress that they have no other sources of income except from their public allowances as public officials and ADUNs. Their allowances can be obtained from the Enakmen Anggota Pentadbiran dan Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri(Saraan) 1980.
Good that they have got a well known audit firm to verify the statements. Other points I mentioned yesterday still merit consideration.