Gerakan backs political funding law as ministers await Cabinet discussion - Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia

Gerakan backs political funding law as ministers await Cabinet discussion

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 ― Gerakan has expressed support for new political funding legislation after minister Datuk Paul Low told Putrajaya to push through the law without waiting for the Opposition’s agreement.

Gerakan president Datuk Mah Siew Keong, who is plantation industries and commodities minister, pointed out that his party submitted a memorandum on political funding last year and met with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Low to give their input.

“In principle, Gerakan agrees with the new legislation, but some changes need to be made to finetune the process of the law,” Mah told Malay Mail Online, without elaborating on the changes his party preferred as he was busy with constituency work when contacted.

“However, Parti Gerakan is in favour of tighter regulations and greater transparency for political donations. We agree that foreign donations must be restricted and all accounts must be strictly audited,” the Teluk Intan MP added.

Low, who is minister in charge of governance, integrity and human rights, said the Barisan Nasional (BN) federal government should enact legislation to regulate political funding based on the recommendations by the National Consultative Committee on Political Financing, which he heads, if it felt the law was good for the country.

Prime Minister and BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Friday that the ruling coalition has agreed to creating a more transparent political funding system, but stressed that the Opposition must also accept it.

Pakatan Harapan leaders have criticised the political financing committee’s recommendations, which include banning foreign funding, requiring the declaration of donations above RM3,000, and lifting limits on party or candidate spending. They claimed the government could persecute pro-Opposition businesses.

De facto law minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said told Malay Mail Online briefly: “Will issue statement once I study the proposed law”.

MCA deputy president Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong, who is minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said the Cabinet must first deliberate on the political financing committee’s proposal before any legislation is tabled in Parliament.

“It must be a collective decision by Cabinet,” Wee told Malay Mail Online.

“The Cabinet will deliberate on that matter, whether the recommendations will be accepted in toto or [whether] some may give certain recommendations.

“It must go through the Cabinet, then only we can tell you what will be tabled in Parliament. Eventually in Parliament, we must get the majority of MPs to support it,” he added.

Low told Malay Mail Online yesterday that the political financing committee will present its report to Cabinet in two weeks’ time.






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