Penang should lead with honest asset disclosures

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Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s comments that Penang state exco members would be asked to declare their assets as soon as possible is reassuring. It shows that the state government is still thinking about it – more than one year after the general election.

Guan Eng says that he is now mulling over the best method of doing so.

It’s all quite simple, really. Just get them to list their assets (as well as their immediate family’s) on a sheet of paper and to declare that the list is a true and fair representation of their net worth. Get these declarations audited by an independent firm.

No need to reveal bank account numbers to the public; just the amounts held in those accounts. After all, companies do not reveal their bank account numbers in their audited accounts, which can be accessed by the public. Instead, they just show “bank” and “cash in hand” in their balance sheets.

People are not interested in the bank account numbers of their leaders or in complicated asset disclosures; they are more concerned about their leaders’ net worth – at the start of their term of office and then at periodic intervals. That way, they can monitor if their leaders are abusing their positions for financial benefit.

The Selangor asset declarations were unsatisfactory as they were more like declarations of income rather than of assets or net worth.

If the Indonesian presidential and vice-presidential candidates can disclose their wealth (running into the millions of US dollars), there is no reason our politicians have to be so coy about their assets – unless of course it contradicts their projected “politician of the people” or “simple lifestyle” image.

This is the Indonesian asset disclosure of presidential and vice presidential candidates:

Jusuf Kalla                                               US$29.07 million

Wiranto                                                     US$7.85 million

Megawati Sukarnoputri                      US$14.15 million

Prabowo Subianto                                US$159.6 million

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono            US$920,500

Boediono                                                   US$2.14 million

Will we really get to see how much Malaysian political leaders have in assets? Or will the disclosures merely scratch the surface of their real net worth?

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KHOO JIN HUP

i can list my assets in 10 minutes.
i mean assets that i earned legally with hardwork.

nkkhoo

LGE talked big when he was in the opposition camp. He is more or less like BN politicians…

– when local council elections can be held?

– when the asset declaration can be implemented? ASAP is a worst answer from an irresponsible person.

ikeda

I remember that Karpal used to declare his asset without problem during the election. LGE should consult Karpal on how to do it instead of trying all sort of lame excuse to delay it. You don’t need a smart guy to tell that LGE is reluctant to fulfil his election promises. Probably he also afraid to be sued if doing so. Correction, Andrew! LGE is actually a KTK clone in disguise! He is more pro Gerakan and Umno developers than one can image. He also know nut about running a state government. He faces the problem of running out of… Read more »

tan, tanjong bungah

Hi everyone,

The Pg State Govt Exco members should not just stop at disclosing their assets as at the time they took office.

The State Govt in line with its CAT policy should venture further to disclose the monthly claims (travelling, hotel stay, etc.), maybe at quarterly year basis to prevent any doubts and hue and cry as what is currently being experienced by the British MPs! By voluntary doing this, the State Govt would further promote that Penang leads in the proper and moral way!

Andrew

Lim Guan Eng is a big talker. He likes to aksi and be dramatic, and better still if he shows himself to be attacking the BN. But when it come to him taking action on behalf of the people, this Lim Guan Eng fler is just another BN-clone in DAP disguise. So, after one year and despite being an accountant, he still does not know how to declare assets? You think he passed or failed his UPSR exam??? Lim Guan Eng is just fooling around. He is not keen to declare his assets. So, he is stalling… Better still, how… Read more »

songsar

Probowo Subianto may have US$159 million … When Suharto fell he was sacked, so in a space of some 15 years how did he accumulate 150 million? Surely Salim or Oei Hong Leong’s brother, Frankie nor Hashim gave all that money to him. Hashim’s countertrade with Russia 20 years ago, the money earned would have finished… Tutut’s toll collection is for herself.

104East

Why politicians do not want declare their assets? The answers are related to corruption, tax dodging, money laundry, questionable incomes, spending beyond their declared income and maybe nagging husbands, wives, siblings, mistresses, girlfriends, boy friends, gigolos. No?

caravanserai

Sometimes I just can’t understand The politicians in government find it diffult to declare assets It takes them years to list it out……. The more they delay it becomes worst in perception As if they have something to hide Giving excuses of forms Type of format what to list Damn they should get the forms Any reputable companies got it Under Capex of schedules By now they should have their records Receipts and S &P, shares holding and profit statements Assets they have before and after in government services They shouldn’t procrastinate any more Why so difficult? Write a list… Read more »

Observer

It’s quite shocking to see Megawati Sukarnoputri teaming up with Prabowo Subianto (Suharto’s son-in-law), who (allegedly) organized the 1997/1998 Indonesian riots that killed many Indonesian Chinese (where) mobs who raped and killed Indonesian Chinese women. You could look up these pictures on the net, very shocking, traumatic and sickening. It is sad that Megawati has become this desperate or crazy for power, making a deal with the devil himself. Wasn’t she herself oppressed by Prabowo Subianto when he, Suharto and the Indonesian Military were in power? In any case, I hope Megawati Sukarnoputri & Prabowo Subianto lose badly. Good for… Read more »