Hamzah: Need for thorough discussion on Bill before it is passed and used

KAJANG: Mechanisms to put the Political Funding Bill in place must be discussed thoroughly before it is passed and used, said Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.

The Home Minister said it was important to get it right to avoid any flip flop and ensure its long-term effectiveness.

“A thorough discussion on the right mechanism to put the Bill in place must take place as we want to ensure that it can always be used.

“The policy is good but we must make sure its implementation is beneficial as well,” he said after launching the National Anti-Drug Agency’s Mobile Recovery Treatment service yesterday.

Hamzah, who attended the Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption meeting, said the Bill was discussed at length among committee members.

In Petaling Jaya, Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan said regulating political donations was initially mooted by the former Barisan Nasional government during Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration.

Ahmad, however, said the Bill failed to see the light of day due to strong opposition.

“The Bill was completed during Najib’s time. But it wasn’t tabled (in Parliament) because the Opposition did not agree to it,” said Ahmad when contacted by The Star.

Meanwhile, Ahmad said it is common practice for political parties to operate based on donations.

At the same time, Ahmad said the Umno general assembly in March had affirmed the party’s support for a political financing Bill.

In September 2017, former minister Datuk Paul Low said laws to regulate political funding would not be tabled in Parliament before the 14th General Election in May 2018.

Low had said the proposed Bill to regulate political donations was a complex and completely new law which was still being studied.

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