Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Announcement of Sunshine Law

I called a press conference this afternoon, with the DAP Selangor State Assemblyman for Sekinchan Sdr Ng Suee Lim, to make public my private member's bill on the "Declaration of Family Income and Asset Bill 2007". Malaysiakini has reported it this afternoon.

'Sunshine law' mooted for Selangor
Andrew OngNov 14, 07 4:32pm

Sungai Pinang assemblyperson Teng Chang Kim has submitted a draft bill that compels all Selangor assemblypersons and local government councillors to publicly declare their income and assets annually.
At a press conference today, Teng said that the proposed law was aimed at “helping” the state government, led by Barisan Nasional (BN), to maintain the integrity of its office bearers. As an example, Teng said such a law would help the Anti-Corruption Agency in detecting those with ill-gotten gains.
The draft bill, entitled ‘Declaration of Family Income and Asset Enactment 2007', was submitted to the state assembly on Nov 5. The assembly reconvenes on Nov 19. “If this bill is denied (passage), then it just shows that the government is not serious about cleaning up their act and they should be given a broom instead,” Teng told reporters.
He was referring to Selangor Menteri Besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo’s widely publicised move to shame two state agencies with a ‘broom award’ during a function on Monday, for failing to achieve the required levels of efficiency.
At present, BN elected representatives have to submit their income and asset declarations directly to the Prime Minister’s Office, while state executives have to submit their declarations to their respective chief of state.
Teng’s draft bill proposes that all local government councillors, state assemblypersons, senators elected by the state assembly and executive council members be subjected to annual income and asset declarations. This declaration must include the income of immediate family members and should be submitted on or before June 30 every year.
The draft bill proposes that the declaration of joint income and assets be published in the form of a gazette. “Once it is gazetted, it would be available for public scrutiny. If a member of the public spots something amiss, they can then make a report on the matter,” said Teng.
He proposed heavy penalties - a jail sentence of one to five years and a fine between RM3,000 and RM50,000 for fraudulent declarations Helping BN ‘for free’ Teng said the bill was modeled on laws that have been in existence in Taiwan and South Korea. In Taiwan, such legislation is known as the “sunshine law”.
On the near certainty that the state assembly would not allow him to table the bill, Teng said that he had to try at least. “I may not succeed, but I have to do it. It is my duty,” he said, adding that the public suspicion over former Port Klang assemblyperson Zakaria Mat Deros’ source of wealth had added to the urgency of such laws.
“I’m surprised BN does not know how to draft such laws after so long. Since they can’t, I have done it free of charge for them,” said Teng.
Nov 19 would mark Teng’s return to the state assembly since his 30-month suspension since April 2005 for refusing to apologise for throwing the Standing Orders into a waste basket.
For Chinese readers, read also Merdekareview & Malaysiakini Chinese Edition.
The Star's report.

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