Topic: Asset Declaration
Coverage by: New Straits Times
The government has been urged to give priority to asset declaration laws for the sake of accountability and transparency following the release of the Pandora Papers reports.
In making the call, the Centre to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4) also urged for the immediate implementation of open data on companies, enhanced vigilance of these corporate structures, their flow of funds, movement of money and a boost in the detection of shell companies in order to avoid illegal outflow of funds outside Malaysia.
“We urge for an asset declaration law to be given immediate priority. The current call for asset declaration does not authorise the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to go after those who have under-declared or failed to declare their assets,” it said in a statement today.
C4 said although offshore entities were not illegal, they generally caused leakages of funds that should be taxed and were often used to launder money and cover money trails.
The Pandora Papers listed Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Aziz, Deputy Finance Minister Yamani Hafez Musa, former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Selayang member of parliament William Leong as Malaysians having offshore business interests and bank accounts.
“There is already a global push for the beneficial ownership transparency of companies, especially in the political declaration of the recently concluded first-ever United Nations General Assembly Special Session Against Corruption in June 2021,” C4 said.
“A nation can only be built on transparency when those who lead it also practise transparency and accountability and lead by example.
“Otherwise, our nation will be built on a foundation of lies and deceit, with a face that promises good governance, but a hand that supports corruption.”