KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Monday (Jul 9) said his government plans to amend anti-graft laws so that even the prime minister and deputy prime minister must declare the receipt of gifts to the nation's anti-graft body.
This comes as millions of dollars worth of luxury goods were seized from residences linked to former prime minister Najib Razak, who was last week charged with corruption-related offences. He had alleged many of the seized items were gifts, some from foreign leaders.
Under the proposed changes, all Members of Parliament and members of the administration will have to declare if they have received any gift worth more than RM500 (US$124) to the prime minister with a copy given to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). The prime minister will have to make the declaration directly to the MACC.
Laws are also being studied so members of the administration can be charged under anti-graft laws like public officers.
Last year, Najib was able to strike out a lawsuit brought against him by Mahathir and two others for alleged misfeasance in public office because the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled he was not a member of public office but a member of the administration.
"So if before the court says - under very dubious circumstances - that the prime minister and deputy minister are above law, we can change it to make sure it's within the law," Mahathir said at a press conference.