Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Declare your assets, Ku Li tells current and past Cabinet ministers

BY JOSEPH SIPALAN

Ku Li said it becomes the responsibility of those in power and their predecessors to clear the air on all their dealings. – AFP file pic





















Ku Li said it becomes the responsibility of those in power and their predecessors to clear the air on all their dealings. – AFP file pic 


KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — All past and current Cabinet ministers and MPs should declare their assets and liabilities to answer claims of conflicts of interest involving public figures, senior lawmaker Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said today.
The Gua Musang MP said it becomes the responsibility of those in power and their predecessors to clear the air on all their dealings, especially since they took an oath to serve the people.
“This must include Cabinet members and MPs, then and now. Also those in the public and private sectors where they are in decision making levels, then and now,” he said when debating the Royal Address in Parliament.
Razaleigh, a former finance minister, said the declaration of assets and liabilities should be done periodically and kept by an independent body created by an Act of Parliament.
He noted with concern the use of funds from the Employees Providence Fund (EPF) and the public sector’s Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP) to assist financial institutions involved in giving loans to “certain corporations”.
He said Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak must inform the House of the current status of the two funds and the amount of money invested in financial institutions that issued the loans.
“In itself this brings us to the question of good governance which is important and necessary in our country’s financial administration.
“The prime minister and finance minister cannot in any way fall into a situation where there is conflict of interest. It must be remembered that conflict of interest is a serious problem.
“That this situation may have been accepted by the Dewan Rakyat all this while becomes something that is not good for him,” Razaleigh said without elaborating.
Last January, it was reported that KWAP — the country’s second largest pension fund — had lent RM4 billion to SRC International, a former subsidiary of 1 Malaysia Development Berhad, to fund a planned 2011 buyover of coal mines from Gobi Coal & Energy.
In 2012, Putrajaya took up a RM1.5 billion loan with the EPF to fund Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s plans to build new low cost housing schemes and to maintain existing projects.
The EPF is also a substantial shareholder in a Malaysian consortium that includes SP Setia Bhd and Sime Darby Property, which secured an approximately RM4 billion development and land refinancing loan for the Battersea Power Station in the UK.
- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/declare-your-assets-ku-li-tells-current-and-past-cabinet-ministers#sthash.uocf4mGG.dpuf

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