KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 — Barisan Nasional (BN) has agreed to the plan for a new law to regulate political funding, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.
The Prime Minister said in principle BN and Umno had always wanted a more “transparent” system but more importantly, it has to be agreed by the Opposition as well.
“We need for a new political funding system that is more transparent and can be monitored by objective and neutral parties.
“We agree in principle and we support the new method. But this method needs to be agreed by both sides. Even though BN agrees, the Opposition must also agree,” Najib told reporters during a press conference today after chairing the Umno Supreme Council meeting.
The Pekan MP however said the details on how the new law will be implemented however is up for discussion.
“The details we can discuss later, now it’s just a proposal. We can discuss it one by one and alter it,” Najib said adding that he personally had mooted this proposal even before the last general elections.
Umno Information chief Tan Sri Annuar Musa meanwhile said such laws were necessary to prevent illegitimate sources from funding political parties.
“The most important thing is that the source has been disclosed. As long as it’s a legitimate source, even if it’s foreign, it’s not a problem. If it’s an illegitimate source, then that’s the problem,” he stressed.
The Ketereh MP however said that it was okay for political parties to get foreign funding as long as it does not break any rules or have any negative intervention.
“If the foreign funding is uncontrolled, then there can be negative political intervention. But maybe there are mechanisms that can be put in place so that these negative effects can be controlled,” Annuar Musa explained.
The special panel on political funding today proposed a new law on the matter to curb abuses, but suggested that this may not be in place before the general election after the next.
Among the proposals listed in the Political Donations and Expenditure Act (PDEA) is the formation of an independent oversight body with the power, to among others, confiscate money from unknown sources.