G25 submits proposal on political funding reform to PM

01 Dec 2015 / 20:34 H.

    KUALA LUMPUR: The G25 group comprising of individuals of experience in various fields together with 70 other non-governmental organisations (NGO) completed and submitted a study on political funding reforms to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak on November 27.
    The G25 and the other NGO's have also given Najib till January 15 to respond but stressed that it was not an ultimatum.
    "We want to have a meeting with Najib if he doesn't respond by January 15. We are aiming to get recommendations implemented in six months rather than the two years the government said it would take," said Universiti Malaya Political Economics Professor Terence Gomez who was instrumental in producing the study.
    The study contains proposals for the government to make political funding more transparent and accountable through new laws including the Political Parties Act which will see the banning of secret and foreign funding, limit political contributions and expenditure, establish reporting requirements and public disclosure, introduce guidelines for a caretaker government and ban party ownership of business.
    The study also suggests that the Election Commission's autonomy and impartiality must be protected as well as having stronger monitoring and enforcement capabilities.
    Another reform recommendation is in the area of direct public funding, the study recommends that political funding come from public coffers for all political parties whether in the government or the opposition.
    Gomez, who was speaking in a press conference at the launch of the research booklet, entitled Reforms for Transparent and Accountable Political Funding in Malaysia, said that public financing can help reduce reliance on private sources of funding particularly the wealthy and corporate interests groups.
    "This will help level the playing field for new and smaller parties as well as independent candidates," said Gomez.
    "The Prime Minister has said that he had set up a political funding reform committee which was tasked to come up with a framework to govern money received by political parties, the committee said they would require two years to complete it," said Gomez.
    Gomez said he and his team had only taken two months to complete the proposal.
    "We started in September; we have done it in two months now. We don't want to waste time. We have shown them it can be done. If you look at our proposal, it's in depth," said Gomez.


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