Call to expedite Political Financing Act

PASS the Political Financing Act before the next general election, the government has been told.

Parliamentary Special Select Committee (PSSC) on human rights, elections and institutional reforms member Khoo Poay Tiong said it was an important and complex Act, requiring time for discussions, forming policies and passing.

“We want to know the timeline and hope the Act can be passed during the current term and before the next general election.

“The government has also stated its commitment to this Act. We welcome non-governmental organisations to engage with us and give their suggestions,” the Kota Melaka MP told a press conference held by the All-Party Parliamentary Group Malaysia (APPGM) on political financing yesterday.

The committee on human rights, elections and institutional reforms is one of 10 bipartisan SPSCs set up to serve as checks and balances for the government.

In March, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said the government was committed to preventing corruption and money politics and that any new policy changes with regard to the proposed law on political funding need to be agreed on by the Cabinet.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department had also said the proposed Political Funding Bill would be brought before the PSSC before being tabled in Parliament to allow MPs to put forward their views and proposals so that all crucial aspects are considered.

APPGM chairman Wong Chen said political financing was crucial to eradicating corruption among political parties.

“We have conducted two meetings and started going on the ground through town hall meetings to explain why this is important.

“If we don’t have this, any Datuk, Datuk Seri, Tan Sri or Tun can donate to political parties which is very detrimental to fighting corruption in the country.

“It is an important democratic practice and is practised in advanced democracies globally.

“If we want Malaysia to reach the international level and for our government to function efficiently and without corruption, this is (Act) essential,” the Subang Jaya MP said.

Last year, the Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob administration agreed in principle to a law on political funding when the Political Funding Bill was presented to the Cabinet.

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