G25 welcomes the commitment from de facto law minister Azalina Othman Said that the government will proceed to present the bill on political funding before Parliament as early as possible so that it can become law to regulate political donations in a proper manner.
Earlier, the minister had said the bill was not a priority. This caused concern among civil society organisations on whether the government was backtracking on this important reform that ensures that the fundings of political parties are clean and free from money politics.
Political funding is the root cause of corruption in many countries. Several countries have taken the necessary steps to reform the way donations are made to political parties to ensure transparency, accountability, and integrity.
Malaysia must proceed faster in the reform agenda of the “unity government” to address the allegations about money politics and all the ugly stories that are associated with such politics.
We, G25, are encouraged by the work that the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Political Financing, which was officially approved by Parliament on 23 April 2023, has done so far in their discussions on the bill. We hope their deliberations will continue without further delay to arrive at an early consensus to make our democracy a respectable one.
Related to the political funding act, is the proposed government procurement act. Therefore, we hope the legislation on public sector procurement of goods and services will also be expedited to get it passed in Parliament.
This is an important act because much of the political abuse in government spending happens through the award of contracts to political favourites and cronies, involving overpricing of contracts at the expense of the government budget. It also has damaging effects on genuine private sector companies which lose out in the bidding process because of unfair competition.
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The new act will ensure that there are proper procedures to avoid the deliberate mismanaging of the country’s finances to benefit preferred relatives, friends or politicians. – G25