Ahmad Maslan: I'm part of court cluster due to lack of political funding law

PETALING JAYA: Former deputy finance minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan claims to have been victimised owing to lack of laws to regulate political funding, resulting in him being part of the "court cluster" following a money laundering charge.

The Pontian MP also questioned why the proposed Political Donations and Expenditure Act (PDEA) had not been enacted despite the creation of its draft as far back as 2016.

He said that although a political funding act was not mentioned in the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by the government and the Opposition on Sept 13, it was important to have the law in place to protect both givers and receivers.

"This PDEA or a political funding act must be put in place because donors and recipients of political funding shouldn't be victimised.

"I don't want to go into details in this Dewan Rakyat but I'm one of the victims of a lack of political funding law.

"If I were to tell the story, it would be too long but that's the reason why I'm part of the court cluster," he said on Wednesday (Sept 15).

The "court cluster" label is used to reference several Umno leaders facing graft charges in court, which included Ahmad as well as former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Earlier, Ahmad said he had proposed for an anti-hopping law to be enacted back in December 2018 but that it had received lukewarm response.

"No one cared about the Act then but we proposed it because in my opinion, we must have the law because party hopping is a stain on democracy, a betrayal to voters and goes against party ethics," he said.

Ahmad had proposed that in the event of an elected representative switching parties, a by-election be immediately held but the representative be barred from contesting in it.

He had also proposed that representatives who switched parties be fined such as making it compulsory for them to return the RM200,000 spent by their parties on their election campaigns.

"The same must be applied at the state level. Malaysia would become a good example to other countries if we have this law in place," he said.

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