23 March, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah yesterday officially signed Transparency-International Malaysia’s (TI-M) election pledge and said he was prepared to declare his assets if called upon.
The Temerloh Member of Parliament (MP) was the first to agree to the pledge when it was introduced last week. “It will be tough and it won’t be easy. But I believe it is doable.
“It is possible to uphold good virtues,” he told reporters after signing the pledge at the Parliament lobby.
He said taking up the vow was done on an individual level and it was up to other MPs to sign join.
When asked if he would declare his assets, Saifuddin said he had no problem with it. “I know the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) has mentioned about ministers and deputy ministers declaring their assets. If they announced we can start declaring our assets tomorrow, then I will definitely do it.”
Saifuddin said he was not alone in believing the need for integrity among politicians. “I know of Umno divisions that have conducted seminars on the importance of having integrity as a politician. I am not a lone ranger.”
TI-M president Datuk Paul Low, who received Saifuddin’s signed pledge, said MPs were free to sign up until the 13th general election.
He said the public could monitor politicians who had made the pledge via social media networks. “We require all our signatories to have a Facebook and Twitter account, so the civil society can keep in touch with them and get in touch with them if they are not satisfied with the MPs’ conduct.”
Low said aspiring politicians could also sign up. “It is open to anyone who has political ambitions. Who knows, maybe after someone signs it, a political party will take the person in.”