Law on political funding soon — Dr Mahathir

Dr Mahathir (second left) at the press conference after chairing the meeting. Others from left are Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law) Datuk Liew Vui Keong and Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.— Bernama photo

PUTRAJAYA: A law on political funding that does not give any personal gain to the donors will be enacted in the effort to curb corruption, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said the government would study the system of political funding in other countries to find the best practices in the implementation of the law.

“In some countries, the government provides the funds to political parties. That is done, I think, in Germany. We will study whether that is something that we can do.

“But, on the other hand, we see the United States which has a system of lobbyists and they are paid to influence the government to do certain things for the people, who paid the money. That, to us, is corruption. We will not allow that in Malaysia,” he said at a press conference after chairing a meeting of the Special Cabinet Meeting on Anti-Corruption here yesterday.

Also present at the press conference were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail; Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali; Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong and director-general of the National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption (GIACC) Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed.

Dr Mahathir, who is also the chairman of the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition, said political funding was necessary for political parties, especially during elections when a lot of money was required.

However, he said, it was quite difficult to determine if a political donation was a bribe or not.

“The members and supporters will provide the money but when you give supporters the right to provide money to political parties, they may give the money in the hope that if the political party wins, then they will be favoured,” he said.

Last year, the Political Donations and Expenditure Bill (PDEA) was drawn up under the then Minister in Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuan.

However, the Bill was not tabled before the 14th General Election in May. — Bernama

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