Call on the government to
impose a guideline that requires all public office bearers to declare their
PR status in foreign countries before taking public office
by Loke Siew Fook
The de facto Law Minister Dr Rais Yatim has reportedly said that the
Culture, Arts and Tourism Deputy Minister Dr Ng Yen Yen’s past status as an
Australian permanent resident while serving as senator was "morally
untenable" though not legally wrong,.
He was quoted as saying that “If a public office holder has a PR status for
whatever reason – whether it is because of his or her children or for
business efficacy, it does not harm him or her to declare it to the public.
In other countries, if such things happened, those concerned would have
resigned. There are no legal implications. But it concerns the morals, value
system and disposition of a government leader, even if the person has
relinquished the PR status”
DAPSY is not interested in the political tussle within MCA particularly the
Team A and Team B bickering but the revelation of the PR status of Dr Ng Yen
Yen by the MCA Youth Chief must not be taken lightly. Although as Rais said
that it was not legally wrong but for a Senator being appointed without
being known that she was holding a PR status in a foreign country, it just
showed that transparency is not being practiced by our public office
Dr Ng did not set a good precedent in public administration. As a senior
politician, she should have been sensitive and publicly relinquish her PR
status in Australia before she took up the appointment of her Senator post.
As Dr Rais Yatim said that people who hold public office should not withhold
information on their foreign PR status which is "pertinent to be known by
the public", DAPSY is urging the government to impose a guideline that
requires all public office bearers to declare their PR status in foreign
countries before taking public office.
The Cabinet must set a good precedent that not only their PR status must be
declared, all Ministers and Deputy Ministers shall also declare all their
personal assets and interest to the Parliament to ensure the principles of
accountability and transparency are adhered to by government leaders.
Rais should not wait for the Cabinet request to propose for a clear
guideline or policy regarding the matter but he should immediately take
pro-active measure to initiate the guideline and bring it to the Cabinet
Loke Siew Fook,
DAPSY National Secretary