Topic: Asset Declaration
Coverage by: Free Malaysia Today
PETALING JAYA: The government should give immediate priority to an asset declaration law in the interest of transparency and accountability, an anti-corruption NGO said today, in the wake of the Pandora Papers leak.
The Center to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4) also called for the immediate implementation of open company data, for better vigilance of company structure and movement of money, and improved detection of shell companies to avoid illegal flows out of the country.
“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, the practice had caused tax evasion for years, often to launder money and as a means to cover the money trail.
Yesterday, the Pandora Papers listed finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz, deputy finance minister Yamani Hafez Musa, former finance minister Daim Zainuddin, Bagan Datuk MP Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Selayang MP William Leong as Malaysians having large 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 UN 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.”