Promise

Create a Political Financing Mechanism that has Integrity

ANALYSIS

In January 2019, the National Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC) director-general Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed stated that the GIACC was in talks with political parties to prepare the Political Funding Bill before it would be presented to the Cabinet and later tabled in Parliament. On April 9th, the GIACC stated that the Election Commission was also looking, among others, into issues surrounding political financing. It further stated that a report on the matter would be submitted to the Cabinet.

We commend the government’s move to initiate consultations with the political parties in preparing the Political Financing Bill. We however would like to emphasize that consultations with civil society organizations is equally important and should be immediately initiated. This is in line with the government’s obligation under Article 13(1)(a) of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) which mandates that the government promote active participation of society which includes civil society organizations in decision-making processes. Consultations with civil society organizations are key to ensuring that the Bill truly captures all pertinent points that need to be included to ensure its effective application and implementation.

We would like to also urge that a clear roadmap be provided to inform the public of the steps that the government intends to take to ensure that the law on political financing is eventually enacted. Under Article 13(1)(b) of the UNCAC, the government has an obligation to ensure that the public is given effective access to information related to its anti-corruption measures.

Sub-promise

Set-up a Special Committee to prepare new Act and examine all proposals which include:-
  1. Political parties that qualify will receive annual funding from the Government according to a transparent and consistent formula
  2. Contributions must be from identifiable sources
  3. Parties must submit annual audited financial report
  4. Parties’ assets not in excess of RM1 billion
  5. Government-owned companies are not allowed to make contributions

 

21 March 2019 – Political financing law should address money politics in party polls, says academic