Tuesday, 25 April 2017

KTMB takes the lead in minimum wage, shames the private sector


KTMB takes the lead in minimum wage, shames the private sector

Wow! Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) has taken the lead to raise its staff’s minimum monthly wage from RM1,000 to RM1,200 beginning next month (May 2017).

Syabas to KTMB for its super caring attitude and understanding towards its staff, unlike the greedy and uncaring private sector, including conglomerates. (Read these for context: http://bukitlanjan.blogspot.my/2017/04/bukit-lanjan-selfish-and-greedy.html and http://bukitlanjan.blogspot.my/2016/12/bukit-lanjan-top-glove-makes-rm7332.html)

Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said gone were the days when the private sector was the choice employer of Malaysians.

“Today, more Malaysians are applying for jobs in the public sector. This is because the remuneration of civil servants have risen significantly.

“The public sector also appears to be more stable and reliable than the private sector which has been depressing wage growth for decades,” he added.

Syed Razak said: “It is most illogical for the private sector to continue to object to the minimum wage policy, especially those companies or conglomerates which are reporting multi-million-ringgit annual profits.

“Such companies or conglomerates are just plain selfish, greedy and uncaring to its workers or employees.”




Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), said private sector employers should display more generosity to help their loyal employees or workers.

“Don’t just focus on ballooning annual profits at the cost of your employees or workers. Don’t try to exploit them. Always remember they are also humans like you and they need to fight inflation and feed their loved ones.

“Reward them justly and productivity will surely be raised,” he added.

Here’s what national news agency Bernama reported as posted by online news portal Free Malaysia Today:

"KTMB raises minimum monthly wage to RM1,200

Bernama

| April 25, 2017

862 employees of the KTMB workforce will benefit from the salary revision beginning May this year.

KUALA LUMPUR: Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) will raise its staff’s minimum monthly wage from RM1,000 to RM1,200 beginning May.

Its chairman Nawawi Ahmad said 862 employees or 15% of the KTMB workforce would benefit from the salary revision.

“Its covers adjustment to the basic salary, employer’s contribution to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Social Security Organisation (Socso),” he said in a statement here today.

Last February, Prime Minister Najib Razak dictated to the Bumiputera Economic Council that all companies under the Minister of Finance Incorporated must set a minimum monthly wage of RM1,200 by July, 2017.

Nawawi said KTMB’s top management decided to enforce the revision earlier, in appreciation of its hardworking staff, “and as an early gift particularly for those earning lower income”.

In early April, Najib who is also Finance Minister approved a salary revision of 13% for all KTMB non-executive staff through the government-linked company and KTMB Workers Union’s 8th agreement.

A revision of 7% was also set for executive staff through a sixth agreement between KTMB and the KTMB Senior Officers Association.
"

N.37 LET BUKIT LANJAN SOAR WITH SYED ABDUL RAZAK ALSAGOFF

Monday, 24 April 2017

Foreigners currently own only 0.7% of property in Malaysia

Foreigners currently own only 0.7% of property in Malaysia

Statistics show foreigners currently own only 0.7% of property in Malaysia.

Where then is the justification to claim that the sale of property to foreigners is jeopardising or depriving locals from owning houses or homes?

Also, where is the justification to claim that the selling of property to foreigners is selling out Malaysia’s sovereignty?

Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said instead of worrying about selling property to foreigners, “Malaysians should be more worried about the property market’s stagnation”.

He said themalaymail online report, quoting an industry expert as saying that the property glut may last as long as 10 years, “is more worrying”.

“This affects the domestic market and thus also affects the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The domino effect from such a slowdown on the domestic economy is devastating, to say the least,” he added.

Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), said Malaysians should worry about the real issues and not “unreliable news spin offs” by the “prophets of doom”.

He said no government in the world would do anything to jeopardise its sovereignty nor deprive its citizens of chances of owning a home.

Here are two news reports for readers to chew on:

"Property ownership by foreigners stands at just 0.7%: Finance Ministry

MELISSA DARLYNE CHOW

New Straits Times

April 19, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has given its assurance that foreign property ownership in the country will not jeopardise locals' chances of owning homes.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong said this is because the number of properties owned by foreigners in the country, based on housing, commercial and industrial transaction statistics between 2012 and 2016, obtained from the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) through the evaluation of stamp duties, is very low.

"The percentage of foreign property ownership is 0.7 per cent (1,934 out of 272,669 new housing units) in 2012; 0.7 per cent in 2013 (1,846 out of 246,225); one per cent in 2014 (2,406 out of 247,251); 0.5 per cent in 2015 (1,156 out of 235,967); and 0.3 per cent last year (706 out of 203,064).

"This shows that the percentage of foreign property ownership has dropped," Lee said in reply to a question from Senator Chia Song Cheng in the Dewan Negara today.

Chia had asked about the number of local properties owned by foreigners from 2012 until now, the price reach of these properties, and if these foreign investments are jeopardising locals' chances of owning a home or getting a job.

Lee said based on the policy in place, foreigners can only purchase properties priced at RM1 million and above.

He said records show that unsold housing properties, priced over RM1 million, increased from 413 units in 2014 to 2,116 last year.

"Based on this policy, and the percentage of ownership transfer to foreigners in various property sectors standing at less than two per cent, we can conclude that locals still have the opportunity to own homes," he added.

Property expert suggests market could stay flat for decade

BY A. RUBAN

The Malay Mail Online

April 19, 2017


A general view of properties in Kuala Lumpur. Property consultant Ahyat Ishak today suggested that the sector’s current stagnation may last as long as 10 years. — File pic
PETALING JAYA, April 19 — The property sector’s current stagnation may last as long as 10 years, an industry expert claimed today.

Property consultant Ahyat Ishak said a similar slowdown took place from 2000 and 2009, adding it was possible that this could be the start of another such cycle.

“In 2000, no one could tell the market will remain sluggish until 2009,” he said at a forum organised by the Real Estate and Housing Developers’ Association Malaysia (Rehda) titled “Property Forum 2017: Status Quo or Road to Recovery”.

Others in the panel were surveyor Malathi Thevendran, Maybank head of consumer finances Abdul Razak and economist Dr Kamaruddin Mohd Nor.

None of the other panellists would predict the sector’s direction beyond 2017."

N.37 LET BUKIT LANJAN SOAR WITH SYED ABDUL RAZAK ALSAGOFF

Sunday, 23 April 2017

How a three-year-old girl could read New Straits Times



How a three-year-old girl could read New Straits Times


Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff was invited to officiate at the SK Bandar Baru Sri Damansara 19th Sports Day on Sunday, April 23, 2017.

Education matters is his passion and Syed Razak wants to use his 11 years of experience as Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) to contribute to nation-building directly and indirectly as an elected representative.

Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), was SK Bandar Sri Damansara 1 PTA chairman (2004-2007) and SMK Bandar Sri Damansara 1 PTA chairman (2008-2013).


In his address at the school’s Sports Day, Syed Razak revealed his struggles when he was young, coming from a poor family, and how determination and education led to his success as an adult.


He told parents and pupils:

> Reading is the key to knowledge, and knowledge is power …

> How his three-year-old daughter could read New Straits Times

Click the above video link to view and for details.

And here is a collection of pictures shot at the school sports day:




N.37 LET BUKIT LANJAN SOAR WITH SYED ABDUL RAZAK ALSAGOFF

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Yet another landmark ruling that the government is not almighty …


Yet another landmark ruling that the government is not almighty …

It was satisfying to read news the Federal Court has ruled that the power to decide on compensation under the Land Acquisition Act has been returned to High Court judges.

This means there is negligible chances of the Act being abused by the government and its assessors.

The Federal Court, in a landmark decision, ruled that a provision in the Act contravenes the Federal Constitution and thus the power to decide on compensation is now in the hands of High Court judges.

“This is really a refreshing Federal Court decision that had clearly been made without fear or favour of the government of the day,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

He said the Federal Court decision had thus made compulsory land acquisition and compensation cases far more transparent and fairer to both parties.

“This is only natural, as the High Court judges command more confidence in land or property owners because it would be a third or neutral party when deciding on the amount of compensation.

“The decision has removed government-appointed assessors as the sole party to decide on the amount of compensation. Assessors are naturally deemed interested parties with the government,” he added.


Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), said the Federal Court decision “is akin to separation of powers”.

“This decision shows the Executive is not always the almighty in governance. This bade well to Malaysians and Malaysia,” he added.

This is online news portal Free Malaysia Today (FMT)’s report on the Federal Court’s landmark decision:

"Landmark ruling returns power to award compensation to judges

V Anbalagan

| April 20, 2017

Ruling that a provision in the Land Acquisition Act is against the Federal Constitution, the Federal Court gives power to decide on compensation, now in the hands of assessors, to High Court judges.


PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court, in a landmark ruling today, held that a provision in the Land Acquisition Act which gives two assessors the right to decide on compensation is against the Federal Constitution.

Justice Zainun Ali said this was because Section 40 (A) of the act impinged on judicial power, as only constitutionally appointed judges could make a decision on compensation.

“As such Section 40 (A) is ultra vires Article 121 of the Federal Constitution and must be struck down,” said Zainun, who delivered the unanimous judgment of the five-man bench.

Others on the bench, led by Court of Appeal president Zulkelfi Ahmad Makinudin, were Hasan Lah, Abu Samah Nordin and Zaharah Ibrahim.

Zainun said Section 40 (A) removed the judicial power from the High Court judge and merely required him to rubber stamp the compensation decided by the assessors.

“This provision ignores the role of judges. Compensation should be decided by a judge and no others,” she said in allowing the appeal by a developer.

She said the judge could disagree with the assessors in deciding on adequate compensation.

Semenyih Jaya Sdn Bhd had brought a suit against the Hulu Langat District Land Administrator over low compensation offered to the developer after its land was acquired for the construction of a highway in Kajang in 1998.

The court also allowed a similar appeal by land owners Amitabha Guha and Parul Rani Paul against the same land administrator.

Zainun said the single judge who sat with the assessors was not bound by their opinions in coming to a decision.

“In this way, the sanctity of judicial power is preserved,” she added.

Zainun said adequate compensation was also a safeguard entrenched in the constitution, and must be based on market value at that time.

She said today’s ruling only applied to pending and future cases.

The bench ordered compensation on the two cases to be remitted before a High Court judge who could consider the opinion of the assessors but would be independent in making his ruling.

In the appeal brought by Semenyih Jaya, the developer was in the midst of building 57 factory lots when the land was acquired, but during an inquiry, it was only awarded RM20.8 million without taking into account the loss of profits.

Semenyih Jaya had said that RM45 million would be a fair amount.

Prior to 1984, a judge decided the compensation and the assessors who sat with him merely provided advice.

Between 1984 and 1988, a judge sat alone to hear appeal on compensation.

Then, the law was amended for assessors to make the final decision while sitting with the judge, and the compensation amount could not be appealed further.

Semenyih Jaya’s matter was referred to the High Court where two assessors sat with the judge and the developer only obtained an additional RM160,000 for “injurious affection”. Other claims were not taken into consideration.

The Court of Appeal in 2013 upheld the High Court’s decision on the grounds that the quantum of compensation was not appealable.

Many land owners have been looking forward to the outcome of this case as there are currently disputes on the quantum of compensation and the aggrieved party has no remedy for appeal.

Lawyer Cyrus Das appeared for Semenyih Jaya while Ambiga Sreenevasan represented Amitabha and Parul."


N.37 LET BUKIT LANJAN SOAR WITH SYED ABDUL RAZAK ALSAGOFF

Friday, 21 April 2017

Why is Malaysia breeding corrupt citizens?


Why is Malaysia breeding corrupt citizens?

Yes, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) (MACC) is absolutely right. Corruption is very worrying in Malaysia.

With 16% of students in institutions of higher education supporting corruption, just where are Malaysians and Malaysia heading towards to?

Why are we raising or breeding corrupt citizens? Who is to blame for the currently despicable situation or trend of our young?

Parents, teachers, community leaders, politicians or the governments?

“Most certainly something in our system of governance has gone very wrong for students to condone and support corruption.

“And they don’t even think it is a crime. There is no fear in them to accept and take bribes,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

He said Malaysia’s education system and curriculum had obviously failed “to teach, guide and lead our children to grow up as mature and honest citizens”.

“Why is this happening? Weren’t they taught that accepting or offering bribes is a crime? Or, the civics lessons in schools did not cover corruption as a topic?

“If not, why are our educators or so-called education experts still sitting on their fat ... not doing anything about this for years?” he asked.


Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), said: “If this growing trend of our young to favour corruption is not checked, Malaysia’s strive towards achieving developed nation status will be jeopardised.”

He said parents, teachers, community leaders, politicians and the governments “are to blame for the growing trend of offering and accepting bribes”.

“It is time for all, including both state and federal governments, to look at and study the systems of the 10 countries that are the least corrupt in the world.

And, they are Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Singapore, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and Canada.

Here are two articles for the details:

"MACC: 16% of students willing to accept bribes

Bernama

| April 19, 2017

This is a worrying increase from 10.7% in 2015, says MACC deputy chief commissioner.

ARAU: About 16% of students at institutions of higher learning are willing to accept bribes if they have the opportunity and power to do so.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) deputy chief commissioner Shamsun Bahrin Mohd Jamil gave this figure without revealing the number of students involved in the study.

He said the figure was obtained from a Corruption Prevention Action Effectiveness Perception Study conducted among students by MACC last year.

“The figure is worrying because only 10.7% of the students in 2015 and 11.3% in 2014 had stated their willingness to receive bribes,” he told a media conference here today.

The study also found 18.2% of the students were prepared to give bribes to avoid action, an increase of 0.8% from 17.4% in 2015, said Shamsun.

He said a study had also found that the number of students willing to report corruption cases had dropped to 66.3% compared with 74.1% in 2015 and 74.9% in 2014.

He said MACC data from 2011 until today showed that only 162 individuals dared to come forward and inform the agency about corruption cases. - Bernama/FMT
"


"Top 10 Least Corrupt Countries In The World 2017

Corruption is one of the biggest threats in the world. Unfortunately this threat found in every country. This global issue establishes bad governance, stop development and undermines the law. Still, there are a number of countries where corruption is at very low level. Here the list of 10 least corrupt countries in the world, along with their corruption perception index score (CPI) published by transparency international.

The CPI score ranges from 0 to 100. The CPI score of ‘0’ indicates a highly corrupt country and a score of 100 signals a perfect country with absence of corruption.

(10) Canada, CPI : 81


Canadian parliamentary system has three main branches, Monarch, Senate and house of commons. Queen Elizabeth II is the current Canadian monarchy. What makes Canada a least corrupt country is its open and democratic parliamentary system. Apart from that, Canada is also known for high quality life, educational system and government transparency.

In Canada, the laws are implemented by the executive branch which consist the queen, prime minister and the cabinet. It is the legislative branch (the Queen, the senate and house of commons) in the charge of law making. The laws passed by the executive and legislative branch branch are interpreted by the supreme court of Canada.

(9) Luxembourg, CPI : 82

Luxembourg is the richest and one of the smallest countries in European Union. It is the only remaining sovereign Duchy in the world. The low corruption rate is the another great thing about Luxembourg. This country has a unitary parliamentary system with a constitutional monarchy. Luxembourg government is highly concern about the implementation of anti-corruption laws. The administration within judiciary is also very transparent in this country.

(8) Netherlands, CPI : 83
Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy with a unitary parliamentary system. The current head of the state is King Willem Alexander. The King is in charge of appointing the Mayors and Politicians to the government. The prime minister is the head of the Dutch government. To keep the corruption level as low as possible, the Dutch government follows a transparent judiciary and effective anti-corruption programs.

(7) Singapore, CPI : 84
Singapore is the fifth least corrupt country in the world. The country has a unitary parliamentary system with Westminster system. There is special agency called CPIB ( Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau ) in Singapore to investigate and to take legal actions against corruption. The powerful judicial system in Singapore is globally known for its legitimacy and impartiality in law.

(6) Switzerland, CPI : 86
Switzerland has a federal directional democratic republic system for its government. Here, people have right to influence the activities of government through proper referanda. This direct democracy makes Swiss government as one of most stable democratic system in the world. The country also has a strong legal framework and effective anti-corruption laws. It helps the Swiss government to maintain a much clean system within their public sector.

(5) Norway, CPI : 86


Norway is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. The monarchy is the head of the state and the government lead by the prime minister. The judiciary of Norway is completely independent from the executive and legislature branches. Norway also has a strict and efficient anti-corruption legislation. It helps to maintains the high standard within the public sector of Norway.

(4) Sweden, CPI : 87

Sweden is a parliamentary democratic with a constitutional monarchy. This country globally known for its high quality life, equality, human development, education and health. The government system of Sweden is also transparent and stable. The government agencies of Sweden considered the corruption as ‘abuse of power’. There is also a efficient anti-corruption unit in Sweden to investigate and prosecute corruption.

(3) Finland, CPI : 89

Finland is a parliamentary republic and the Prime Minister is the head of the government. The political leaders in Finland have a strong commitment against corruption. Finland government also maintains a much transparent mechanism and efficient integrity systems. The independent judiciary and strong legal framework also lower the chances of different forms of corruption in the country.

(2) New Zealand, CPI : 91
New Zealand is the second least corrupt country with a CPI score of 91. New Zealand has a parliamentary system with a constitutional monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state of New Zealand. The New Zealand government follows the Westminster model. The judiciary of New Zealand is completely independent from the executive branch and the legislature. In that way the judiciary of New Zealand maintains the accountability and impartiality.

(1) Denmark, CPI : 92
Denmark is the least corrupt country in the world with a CPI score of 92. The administrative corruption, business corruption and other form of corruption are very rare in Denmark. The country has a unitary parliamentary system with constitutional monarchy.

Transparent mechanism, integrity, independent judiciary, civic activism and social trust are the factors that make Denmark as the most transparent country in the world. The Danish penal code also forbids all forms of bribery in the country. In addition to lower level of corruption, Denmark also has a high standard of living, high social mobility, high literacy and equality. - TMW
"


N.37 LET BUKIT LANJAN SOAR WITH SYED ABDUL RAZAK ALSAGOFF

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Malaysians must aim to compete on a level playing field on all fronts

School students wave flags during the 56th National Day Parade at Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur, August 31, 2013 - malaymail online picture
Malaysians must aim to compete on a level playing field on all fronts

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin is thinking out of the box and exceptionally forward-looking when he said Malays should view the quota system for entry into local universities as “insulting”.

He also said his aspiration was to, one day, see the Malay quota system for Bumiputeras in the country removed and the Malay community compete on a level playing field.

“Those are really not only brave words for the Malay community, that is the reality of life in this world,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

He said the bumiputra rights and quota should be reviewed for better implementation to the groups within the bumiputra community “who are really disadvantaged”.

“Buniputras from well-to-do families should not be considered or given scholarships. Only the disadvantaged bumiputras should receive the bulk of all financial assistance.

“Perhaps, the exception should be, regardless of financial standing and race, for the top notch students or best students,” he added.

“Over the past six decades (since Merdeka), Malaysia has progressed by leaps and bounds. The socio-economic and political environment in 1957 and 2017 or the 21st Century era are completely different.

“How can the Malays, Malaysians and Malaysia continue to rely on a policy that was drafted decades ago, and not have it reviewed at all to suit the times and changes.

“Is it really right or wise to have a community raised and guided relying on crutches forever?” he asked.


Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), said: “I shall go as far as saying that all Malaysians must strive for excellence and aim to compete in a level playing field on all fronts.”

He said Khairy was absolutely spot on when he urged the Malay community to start seeing the quota (system) “as something that is a bit insulting, that we need quota to get somewhere.”

This following news report was posted by online news portal Free Malaysia Today (FMT):

"Quotas insult the Malays, says Khairy

Sheith Khidhir Bin Abu Bakar

| April 19, 2017

'You don't want people to say that you are where you are only because there is a quota system,' says youth and sports minister.




KUALA LUMPUR: Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said Malays should view the quota system for entry into local universities as “insulting”.

“These quotas and all that, some of it is in Article 153 in the constitution. I have been telling my Malay community, I said, ‘You know, one day, you should actually aspire, even before 2050, aspire to be in the university without quota’,” the Umno Youth leader told a dialogue on the National Transformation Plan 2050 with Indian youths at the Putra World Trade Center here today.

“We should start seeing this quota (system) as something that is a bit insulting, that we need quota to get somewhere.”

His comments came after a participant said he hoped that the quota system for Bumiputeras in the country would one day be removed.

“Just as there is a perception of discrimination amongst other communities, we also feel that maybe we are not that good, because other communities are saying that, ‘Hey you are here only because of the quota’.

“I want the Malay community to complete on a level playing field. That’s my aspiration,” said Khairy.

The dialogue session was organised by MIC Youth as well as several Indian youth NGOs.

Also speaking at the dialogue was MIC president S Subramaniam, who questioned what the retirement age in 2050 will be.

He said the question should be posed in the face of newly-acquired data that more than 500,000 Malaysians will live to over 90 years old in 2050.

“If we maintain the current retirement age at 60 years, the young won’t be able to support the older generations.”

He said after Malaysia’s independence in 1957, the average lifespan was between 50 and 60 years.

“This is why the EPF (Employees Provident Fund) had a cut-off age at 55 and the retirement age was previously at 55.

“However, moving forward, I don’t think we’ll be able to just stop working at 55 or 60."


N.37 LET BUKIT LANJAN SOAR WITH SYED ABDUL RAZAK ALSAGOFF

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Wow! MACC wants corruption, power abuse declared as Malaysia’s No.1 enemy!

“One of the reasons why corruption and power abuse still exists is because enforcement agencies fail to carry out the responsibilities entrusted to them,” said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad. NST pix.
 Wow! MACC wants corruption, power abuse declared as Malaysia’s No.1 enemy!

The New Straits Times reported that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) wants the federal government to declare corruption and power abuse as the country's number one enemy.

Malaysians generally will welcome and support the MACC’s bold request to the federal government, and why not?

“Malaysia is striving to achieve developed nation status. And that can only succeed with clean and transparent governance,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

He said there was no reason for sincere and honest politicians and leaders to fear transparency in any level of public administration.

“This will also entail support to calls for transparency and public disclosure of assets of elected and public officials. These will obviously raise the confidence of the rakyat (people) and foreign investors in the government’s integrity and good governance,” he added.

The following are two news reports posted by the New Straits Times on corruption and abuse of power for all to chew on:


"MACC wants gov't to declare corruption country's number one enemy

FAISAL ASYRAF

New Straits Times

April 17, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) wants the government to declare corruption and power abuse as the country's number one enemy.

Its chief commissioner Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad said that corrupt enforcement officers and individuals, entrusted with power, have contributed to the widespread of negative issues including drugs, illegal immigrants, smuggling, leakages of national revenue, border issues, financial crimes, gambling, and prostitution.

During a dialogue session with senators which also attended by Datuk Seri SA Vigneswaran in Parliament today, Dzulkifli said all these issues could tarnish the country's image in the eyes of the world.

“One of the reasons why corruption and power abuse still exist is because enforcement agencies fail to carry out the responsibilities entrusted to them,” he said.

Dzulkifli requested the senators to lend their courage and support and be with the Commission to urge the government to declare corruption as the country's number one enemy.

Importance of asset declaration

August 30, 2016 @ 11:01am

FOR years, there have been calls for transparency and public disclosure of assets of elected and public officials, as these will improve the confidence of the people and foreign investors in the government’s integrity and good governance.

Asset declaration requires public officials to declare their income, asset, liabilities and financial interests.

In many countries, public officials are required to declare their assets and income, and also the assets and income of spouses, children and immediate family members.

According to the 1999 Organic Act on Counter Corruption, political office-holders and high-ranking public officials in Thailand must make full disclosure of assets and liabilities, including those of their spouses and minor children.

The National Counter Corruption Commission is responsible for publishing the financial disclosures of public officials in the Government Gazette.

Filipinos have the right to review financial disclosures of public officials and employees, including their spouses and unmarried minor children living in their households, pursuant to Section 8 of the 1989 Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism has posted the asset declaration of Congress and the cabinet members online. The aim of the declaration of assets is to prevent corruption. It is also to increase transparency and the trust of the public administration, to prevent conflicts of interest, illicit enrichment and false accusation of their wealth and to monitor wealth of politicians and public servants.

This is a valid demand because they hold power over allocation of resources and their salaries are paid through taxes.

Political parties were ranked as the most corrupt among top six key institutions in Malaysia, ahead of the police and civil servants, based on the Malaysian Corruption Barometer (MCB) 2014. Therefore, it is even more important for such entities and connected individuals to declare their assets.

Studies show that an asset declaration open to public scrutiny helps ensure leaders do not abuse their power for personal gain.

The declaration of assets should not only be done periodically and kept on record by an effective independent body but it is also appropriate to have forensic accounting experts and investigators monitor the assets periodically.

An asset-profiling system should be introduced to determine how many assets personnel are expected to have based on their positions, years of service and their present and past emoluments.

Asset profiling should include those of their spouses, dependents and immediate family members along with any business interest, or institutions they may be part of.

n DATUK AKHBAR SATAR, President, Transparency International Malaysia
"

N.37 LET BUKIT LANJAN SOAR WITH SYED ABDUL RAZAK ALSAGOFF