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No point declaring wealth if politicians not ready for scrutiny, says Shah Alam candidate

Dr Afif Bahardin says asset declaration should only be done once an individual is appointed to public office.

Teoh Yee Shen
2 minute read
Perikatan Nasional candidate Dr Afif Bahardin on the campaign trail in Shah Alam. Photo: Facebook
Perikatan Nasional candidate Dr Afif Bahardin on the campaign trail in Shah Alam. Photo: Facebook

Perikatan Nasional (PN) candidate Dr Afif Bahardin has criticised politicians who issue asset declarations but refuse to subject their wealth to scrutiny, saying this defeats the purpose of making their wealth transparent.

"There are some MPs (candidates) making public declarations, but when reporters ask questions, the reporters are scolded back," Afif said in an apparent reference to a recent press conference by PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli last week, which saw a tense moment when he reacted angrily to a journalist who asked for his response to criticism related to his assets.

"The real reason we make public declarations is for people to scrutinise," Afif, the PN candidate for the Shah Alam seat, said after launching his manifesto for the constituency today. 

Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidates from PKR have been issuing asset declarations as part of requirements set by the party, with more than RM350 million in total assets declared so far. 

However, Rafizi's asset declaration which saw his wealth growing by some RM17 million in seven years became a hot topic of discussion, with the PKR leader taken to task over party-linked company Invoke Solutions.

Rafizi has since defended his wealth, saying he was already a millionaire by the age of 30.

Meanwhile, Afif said there was no need for candidates to declare their assets unless they are elected to public office. 

Previously, PKR's partner DAP also took a similar view, saying its candidates would only declare their assets if they were elected to office. 

At the Nov 19 polls, Afif will be facing three other candidates from PH, Barisan Nasional and Pejuang.

The Shah Alam incumbent is Amanah's Khalid Samad, who held the seat for three terms, winning it twice on a PAS ticket. Khalid will be contesting the election in Titiwangsa. 

Afif, an incumbent for the Seberang Jaya state seat, said he did not expect an easy fight in Shah Alam.

"Shah Alam is not an easy seat to contest. It has been won by PH since 2008. 

"To overturn the huge majority from the last election will be hard," he said. 

However, he said he had received a good response, and that many locals were familiar with him. 

He also pledged to help Shah Alam resolve its perennial flood issue, which last year saw many parts of the state capital ravaged, causing billions of ringgit in losses.

He said there was a need for various agencies from both the state and federal governments to work together.

"The days of working in silos are long gone," he added. 

Shah Alam has a population of over 430,000, with Malays making up 74% and Chinese and Indians representing 17% and 8% respectively.