'Voters want to know the truth about candidates' assets'

14 Jul 2023 08:53am
Photo for illustrative purposes only - FILE PIX by Bernama
Photo for illustrative purposes only - FILE PIX by Bernama

SHAH ALAM - Election analyst Dr G Manimaran has suggested that candidates participating in the upcoming state elections on Aug 12 should declare their assets in order to create a transparent and integrity-based governance environment.

Manimaran, who is also a member of the Anti-Corruption Busters Team, said that asset declaration not only promotes transparency but also helps voters make informed decisions before casting their votes.

"Voters have the right to know the assets owned by the candidates before they become representatives, and not just their moral background.

"This will benefit not only the candidates but also the parties they represent," he told Sinar Premium.

He added that such a requirement is not difficult to implement, as many parties and coalitions, as well as independent candidates, have promised good and transparent governance in previous state elections and during the 15th General Election (GE15).

Manimaran further stated that it would be ideal if all candidates participating in the upcoming state elections declare their assets and make them known to the public through their respective party websites.

When asked if asset declaration should be mandatory for all parties, Manimaran said that a specific law should be established to achieve this goal.

"Most of the time, we need written laws, otherwise, no party will comply. Therefore, this matter should also be included in the Election Offences Act or the Political Contributions Act currently under review for enactment," he added.

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The Election Commission (EC) has set Aug 12 as the polling day for the state elections, which will be held simultaneously in six states, namely Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Pulau Pinang, Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu.

Meanwhile, the nomination day and early voting dates are scheduled for July 29 and Aug 8, respectively.

EC Chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Salleh, announced these important dates, stating that more than 9.73 million eligible voters will fulfill their responsibilities in the respective states' elections.

On the other hand, the Selangor, Federal Territories and Putrajaya Anti-Corruption Busters chairman, Professor Dr Hamdan Daniel, said that the practice of asset declaration among election candidates reflects political maturity and promotes a corruption-free culture.

"It would be great if every candidate declares their assets, even though it is not mandatory, as it serves as a bonus for voters to see the transparency of the prospective leaders.

"Voters can make a better judgment on which candidate is the best when they are confident in the credibility of the candidate," he said.

He added that there is no downside to candidates declaring their assets, and the pure effort should be supported for the common good.