A criminologist has questioned the value of the asset declarations by PKR candidates ahead of the general election, saying they appear to be linked more with a political agenda than a desire to be transparent.
Kassim Noor Mohamed, who is based in the UK, said asset declarations must be done according to the proper procedure.
"Usually, a declaration of assets is made once you are appointed to public office," he said.
"When they do it this way and announce it to people, it's almost as though it has more to do with a political agenda than actually wanting to be transparent."
Candidates from PKR have declared their assets in the run-up to the 15th general election (GE15), although questions were raised in some cases about a lack of details.
PKR's candidate in Sungai Buloh, R Ramanan, submitted a declaration listing down his wealth under various categories including more than RM23 million in cash as well as jewellery worth RM4 million.
He also listed RM27 million in property, RM8.6 million in vehicles and RM3.5 million in stocks and insurance, leading to a total of RM63.5 million in net assets minus some RM2.5 million debts for housing and car loans and credit card balance.
However, he did not include a detailed breakdown of these assets, and gave no indication of how much he had in his bank accounts or the Employees Provident Fund.
Meanwhile, PKR's candidate in Hulu Selangor, Sathia Prakash Nadarajan, declared RM4 million in net wealth but gave no further details, either.
Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman is among a number of Muda candidates who have declared their assets as well, stating net assets of over RM1.9 million.
Speaking to MalaysiaNow, Kassim said a lack of details would cast doubt on the intention behind asset declarations.
"If you see, there are some candidates who only give numbers," he said.
"When this happens, say someone lodges a complaint with the authorities, and when the authorities investigate, they are blamed instead.
"Then this is labelled as political persecution – is this what they want?"
Kassim also questioned the timing of these declarations, saying assets should be declared to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
"Declare your assets to MACC, and then MACC will take the next step. Why do you want to declare now, during the campaign period?
"If MACC doesn't investigate, they are slammed for not investigating," he added. "But when they investigate, they are questioned in turn.
"It is really intriguing, in a sense, and sometimes to the point where it is laughable because if you want to do this, do it honestly. Do it properly, give all the details and follow the procedure."
DAP, PKR's fellow component in Pakatan Harapan (PH), recently said that it had no policy compelling its candidates to declare their assets ahead of polls.
DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke Siew Fook said candidates would only declare their assets if they are elected and sworn in as Cabinet members, in keeping with the party's practice.
Umno's Khairy Jamaluddin said the same of Barisan Nasional candidates, telling reporters that they would be required to declare their assets after they are appointed to the Cabinet.
Perikatan Nasional information chief Mohamed Azmin Ali meanwhile dismissed asset declarations as "sandiwara" or theatrics, criticising those whom he said declared their assets but still named candidates embroiled in corruption charges.
'Only to some'
Analysts who spoke to MalaysiaNow played down the overall effect of asset declarations, saying such moves would only appeal to certain groups of people.
James Chin of Australia's University of Tasmania said the declaration of assets would appeal mostly to urban and middle-class voters with an interest in politics.
"Most people know that politicians are very good at hiding their wealth," he said.
"Even if they declare, they won't tell the truth anyway."
Liew Wui Chern of Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman agreed, saying the move by PKR candidates to declare their assets would only rally the support of urban voters.
Voters in semi-urban and rural areas would have a different view of the matter, he said.
"If their political opponents continue to push on this issue, semi-urban and rural areas might end up with different opinions," he added.
"Then, asset declaration itself will have the opposite effect."
He added however that the controversy surrounding PKR's asset declarations would not shake the support of long-time supporters for party president Anwar Ibrahim or his deputy Rafizi Ramli.