Cabinet nod needed for policy changes in Political Funding Bill, Azalina tells Parliament

KUALA LUMPUR: Cabinet needs to give its approval for policy changes related to the proposed law on political funding, says Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

"The government is committed to preventing bribery and money politics. As such, the new policy on the Political Funding Bill has to be brought to the Cabinet for its approval.

"Post-GE15, the political landscape of Malaysia underwent some changes which included the formation of new coalitions.

"Thus, there must be ongoing engagement with political parties and stakeholders to ensure that the Bill which is to be amended is inclusive and comprehensive," the Minister in charge of Law and Institutional Reforms said in a written reply to Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (Muda-Muar) in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday (March 20).

On Sept 7, the previous administration agreed in principle to the law on political funding when the Bill was presented to the Cabinet.

Although political funding laws were mooted in 2016 by the then National Consultative Committee on Political Financing, there was resistance from several quarters, including Pakatan Harapan.

The committee came up with 32 recommendations to address the lack of laws on transparent political funding, including the creation of the Office of the Controller of Political Donations and a ban on cash donations from foreign sources.

However, the proposed Political Donations and Expenditure Act did not make it to Parliament before the 14th General Election in 2018.

In 2019, the Pakatan administration said it intended to table laws on political funding but could not do so after it collapsed in February 2020.

Azalina said on Monday the proposed Political Funding Bill will also be brought before the relevant Parliamentary Special Select Committees before being tabled in the Dewan Rakyat.

She said that this will allow MPs to put forward their views and proposals so that all crucial aspects are considered.

Apart from this, she said, the proposed law has to take into account the practices and legal aspects of current laws on corruption, election, money laundering and association.

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