PUTRAJAYA, July 9 (Bernama) -- The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Cabinet ministers and ruling party elected representatives have been classified as members of the administration as a measure to curb corruption, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He said an amendment would be made to the Code of Ethics for Members of the Administration and Government Members of Parliament to redefine 'Members of the Administration'.
This measure would ensure that all these people would not escape legal action if they had unexplained assets and income, he said.
"They have to declare to the relevant authorities if they receive any gifts. The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Cabinet ministers cannot accept unauthorised gifts," he said.
Dr Mahathir spoke at a press conference after chairing a meeting of the Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption, here, today.
He said flexibility was given for gifts such as flowers, food or plaques of appreciation.
"If they are given a Mercedes car they must reject, not even a Proton car," he said.
Dr Mahathir said the previous government administration was seen to have kept from public knowledge cases of corruption involving the top leadership then.
"There were obvious cases of corruption. The action taken by officers was also wrong," he said, citing reports on probes into alleged wrongdoing having been placed under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).
"But if there was no wrongdoing, why the need for them to be put under the OSA. Normally, we cannot hide reports like that, especially the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) reports. But these too were hidden from the public," he said.
The Prime Minister also reminded government officers to lodge reports on elements of corruption in their respective departments or ministries in the effort to curb corruption.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali were also present at the press conference.