State government officials must declare assets now

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Yesterday, a factory owner in Penang alerted me to the Penang Chief Minister’s response to a reader’s question in The Star.

(Reader) Your exco members are required to declare their assets but this has yet to be done.

(Chief Minister) We wanted to but the Prime Minister’s department communicated to my state secretary that they wanted uniformity. And since we want to maintain good federal relations, we are waiting for them to send us the new forms because we also want to declare openly.

If they do not give us the forms, we have to do this on our own but we do not want to use this issue to score political points.

The businessman told me he was not satisfied with the reason given for not yet undertaking the asset declarations to the public.

I too find the explanation hard to understand. There is no need to wait for “uniformity” and “forms” from KL. After all, the federal government is not known for its high standards of asset declarations to the public.

This is not an issue of whether to score political points. State government leaders are accountable to the people of Penang who voted them in – not to the BN government in KL. They should be declaring their assets to the public, not to Putrajaya.

When are the new forms coming? What happens if they don’t supply the forms? No asset declarations then?

There is no need to wait for KL. The Pakatan Rakyat state goverments can come up with their own standard form and policies.

Or the Penang government can just go ahead and get its leaders to declare their assets to the public. You know, take a sheet of paper; divide it into two columns; on the left put down “houses”, “motor vehicles”, “bank accounts”, “savings, shareholdings and investments”, “insurance policies” – stuff like that. And then get all the top officials in the state government and senior state civil servants to describe their assets, in the column on the right. Put the completed forms in a file, available for public inspection. Nothing complicated really. Or you can emulate the format used in other countries with high standards of public accountability.

This is a simple thing which can be done straight away to build public confidence in the integrity of state government officials. The whole idea of declaring assets is to show the public what assets the leaders had at the beginning of the term so that they can be compared with their assets at mid-term or five years later. This is what CAT is all about. If the asset declarations are only done much later, it would defeat the whole purpose of the exercise.

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Andrew

Quite right, ckchew. It’s the PKR dilemma. Can’t form the federal goverment without turncoats, but with them in the picture, your integrity becomes questionable.

It’s probably why they’re putting off the declaration of assets: some might have more to declare than others.

ckchew

Penangites should keep an eye on one particular guy in the state government, he has the habit of the old umno & a bad track record over the year on money matter.

Anak Pulau Pinang

CM Lim Guan Eng I am sure has his hands more than full with the problems left behind by the BN after the BN ship was scuttled in the Tsunami of March 8. It is imperative that PR should proceed with the Declaration of Assets of ALL their assemblymen as well as newly appointed personnel in Key Positions in the State as soon as possible. Why should PR and CM LGE have to waith for the BN government move on Declaration of Assets. LGE MUST realise that he is the leader of the PR and does not need to answer… Read more »

The Yarning

it is not about being an infant, I think that distracts us from the point being made here which I agree, it’s about fulfilling a promise they made which the Penang people bought. And if they cannot do it (yet, whatever) then a good reason must be given. The one given in this instance is just unacceptable. After all, Mr Lim wasn’t subtle in pointing out the “Federal Government’s failure to deliver compensation” in the Kedah logging issue, and in many other instances as well. So to cite maintaining good relations with the Federal Government is really like citing the… Read more »

caravanserai

Assets declaration A long time coming Waiting for uniform forms Go give those calls Set a time frame Otherwise design your own Why wait for it? Let the transparency game begins It isn’t hard to design List the assets and locations Owned by who linked to whom Let it float in the web world Every year refresh the assets list Let the people you mean what you say Don’t give silly excuses Marking time to hide assets away? Accountability Let it be frank On managing the state Don’t just pull wool over peoples’ eyes You won’t last the next round… Read more »

jughead

To be fair, give them some time and ask them to commit as to the timing of declaring the asset. PR unexpectedly form the government and now have dug into a long roadmap. Imagine, suddendly your boss (rakyat)demand you to go to go to Afghanistan or Egypt for more than 1 year within 3 days? You have to assess the situation – you have to look into the map – financial, social and cultural situation and settle your own personal matters. Looking into the map and understanding without someone or non expert in these countries to explain takes 3 days!

raj raman666

please calm down be rasional. THIS MIGHT BE OUT OF TOPIC ISSUE. 1.BN/UMNO rule 50 donkey years-they already have someone to appoint,someone to terminate,someone to carry their b**s.(by 50 years experience standing instruction standby for politician,judges,police and civil servant and the media to cover their a**) 2.PAKATAN RAKYAT. just a baby – still cluesless who to appoint,who to terminate,who wil carry their b**** (100 plus days) PAKATAN NEED TIME,DONT BASH THEM TO MUCH,I AM WORRIED UNDER PRESURE THE BABY PAKATAN WILL HAVE A STRESSFULL LIFE AND SCREWED UP SOME GOOD IDEAs.Lets them make some mistake but guide them like a… Read more »

izkandar

Everyone agrees that it’s just a lame excuse.
This proves a point that it is easy (talk is cheap) to be in the opposition than to be in the government. Common sense dictates that the federal givernment will do whatever it takes to derail or delay whatever good intentions that PR states have in the pretext of uniformity, etc. Maybe all PR and BN politicians should wear the same uniform when in office. Then everything would make sense.

Enforcer

Hello, let’s have a little order here. The PR team not only manages Penang but also four other states. There must be uniformity in declaration of their assets. All assets of directly related individuals of office bearers must be declared. This way there is clear transparency. Do this and we the rakyat should be able to see the sincerity that the PR team has for the well being of the rakyat of NEW MALAYSIA for ALL MALAYSIANS irrespectively of race or religion.

raj raman666

aNIL

a QUESTION FOR YOU,

1.is there any documented proof that any leader of BN/Opposition who have declared their assets have been charge in court?

WHY I ASK?.

Remember the zakaria mansion – i beleived under BN he have declared is asset but he leave beyond is means.(TO MANY LEAVING BEYOND ASSETS DECLARATION)

rajraman.BN IS NATO.(no action talk only.)
PAKATAN – …..?GIVE THEM A BIT TIME.100days old baby still need time how to suck the milk.So lets wait and see who suck who.

lovemalaysiaforever

What have been said must be deliver…

They must disclose all informations and assets as Ganesh mentioned as above.

Why delay?? We are giving them more time to hide and allocate their assets??

Jo

Chief Minister, you are losing credibility by talking round the merry go round. Stop messing around!

Ishak

Aiyoh, all the ‘lau ee’ and ‘lau cheh’ in Apollo – Jalan Raja Uda and Bagan had such high hopes for you when they elected you. They spoke of you as though you were their very own son. They believed in you — they think you have honesty and integrity. Ah Guan Eng ahh, don’t you get it? We the rakyat are with you in wanting you to succeed in turning Penang into a better place but we are no idiots either so stop mucking around with your words! We do not need yet another one of the f’lers. Have… Read more »

Ganesh

Not just own assets. The law must change to include

1) wife’s assets. Wife’s siblings and their spouses as well (if married)

2) All the children’s assets and their spouses (if married) and their children also (ie official’s grandchildren)

3) Parents of the official as well as parents of the official’s wife.