Parliamentary group questions status of Political Financing Bill

ANIS ZALANI
ANIS ZALANI
13 May 2022 03:49pm
APPGM members who were present at the meeting held at the Parliament on Thursday.
APPGM members who were present at the meeting held at the Parliament on Thursday.
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SHAH ALAM - The members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Malaysia (APPGM) has questioned the status of the Political Financing Bill that was drafted and due to be tabled, two years ago.

The matter was brought up during the group's second meeting to understand the overall landscape of political financing reforms and to strategise the next steps moving forward.

The civil society groups present during the meeting that was held at the Parliament on Thursday were the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas), the Malaysian Bar Council, anti-corruption group Rasuah Busters and the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4).

According to a statement by the group, so far, there have been no updates regarding the bill, and neither civil society nor MPs and Senators have had access to it.

It said the lack of transparency and engagement did not bode well for the advancement of institutional reforms in Malaysia.

“The APPGM members also agreed on several key principles of political financing such as transparency and accountability, banning foreign funding, placing caps on the amount individuals and corporations can donate and prohibiting donations from government-linked companies (GLCs) and other organisations with conflict of interest,” the statement said.

Therefore, the group said it hoped to engage with the Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister in the near future to share their ongoing efforts for a law on political financing and to obtain support for the tabling of the bill.

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“APPG hopes to secure support from all MPs across the political divide to prioritise transparent political financing as a bedrock of a healthy, mature and vibrant democracy,” it said.

Those from the group who attended the meeting were its chairman Pasir Mas MP Ahmad Fadhli Shaari Ahmad Fahmi Fadzil, its deputy chairman Lembah Pantai Fahmi Fadzil, its secretary Kluang MP Wong Shu Qi and members Tuaran MP Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau, Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and Jerlun MP Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir.

Expert Maha Balakrishnan was also present during the meeting.