The recent Pandora Papers had gave Malaysians a hindsight of the mega-rich or prominent figures in Malaysia who owned massive fortune overseas.
Following the leak, an anti-corruption NGO, the Center to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4) has called for the government to give immediate priority to an asset declaration law in the interest of transparency and accountability.
Meanwhile, C4 also urge to the authorities to implement an 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.” C4 said in a statement yesterday (5 October).
Nonetheless, C4 said that having offshore entities are not illegal, but the practice had caused tax evasion for years. Often, these entities are being used to launder money as a means to cover the money trail.
The prominent figures that were listed by the Pandora Papers to have large offshore business interests and bank accounts were 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.
“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.”
“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.” C4 said.
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Read the full statement from C4 here: