Hornbill Unleashed

March 27, 2012

What is the best political financing system?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:01 AM
Tags: , ,

G Vinod

While some analysts say Malaysia could adopt the US style, one analyst says that it was not necessary as the country already has the laws in place.

The debate is on: what is the best method of political financing for the country? Some say it is the US system while others say we already have a system in place.

Universiti Malaya political analyst KS Balakrishnan says Malaysia should consider the US-style of keeping tabs on political financing in order to curb money politics.

He said the system not only compels political parties to disclose the amount received but also on how they spent the funds.

Last month, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak announced that the government would introduce new regulations to regulate political financing in order to curb politician’s from using their politcal party’s name in soliciting funds illegally.

Subsequently, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Idris Jala said the legislations would be implemented soon under the Government Tranformation Plan (GTP).

Balakrishnan said under the US system, only the political parties were allowed to manage the funds received and not the individual candidates.

“And the political parties must disclose the account for public scrutiny,” he said.

On whether there should be a cap on political donations, Balakrishnan said although he agreed to a maximum limit, it would be difficult to implement.

“Some corporations may want to contribute more. So it’s best if we can deliberate on a standard limit,” he said.

Stringent rules

On whether the government should provide state fundings to the political parties, Balakrishnan said it would be tough for a growing economy like Malaysia to do so.

“The best we can do is probably finance some small political parties. However, I still feel it’s best if they procure funds from individuals or corporations as we shouldn’t depend on taxpayers’ money for this,” he said.

Another analyst, Khoo Kay Peng, also agreed that the US model was a good start but said there is a need for the government to establish stringent rules on a caretaker government.

Once Parliament is dissolved, Khoo said, the caretaker government should not be allowed to announce new projects or disburse public funds except if there was a national crisis.

“If such rules are not in place, the caretaker government can abuse public funds and gain an unfair advantage during polls,” he said.

He also said that the Election Commission (EC) should play a more pro-active role as the election watchdog apart from merely conducting polls.

“In Thailand, its EC won’t hesitate to conduct a by-election on a constituency if the incumbent was found to have violated its regulations.

“Our EC must be independent and impartial in its conduct as it derives its powers from the Parliament, not the government of the day,” Khoo said.

Money politics

On a maximum limit for political donation, he said in his view, an individual donation should be capped at a maximum of RM1,000.

“And a business entity’s donation should be capped at RM10,000. This will ensure the corporates don’t ask for kickbacks in return from the candidate,” he said.

Universiti Sains Malaysia political analyst Mohamad Zaini Abu Bakar, on the other hand, said Malaysia need not follow any other country’s model for political financing.

This was because, Zaini said, Malaysia already has all the laws needed to curb money politics and enforcement agencies such as the EC and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

“It’s just that we need to improve our enforcement. That’s all,” Zaini said.

He also said that no electoral process in the world was perfect and the same principle applies to Malaysia as well.

However, he lauded the EC, saying it was trying to improve its system by trying to clean up its electoral roll regularly and implementing the indelible ink in the coming general election.

“And the enforcement agencies must be transparent enough to conduct its probe on electoral malpractices so that people will respect our election results,” he said.


  1. How can this society allow a criminal to introduce any laws which tend to be bias. Only good, decent incorrigible honest leader can do that-“LEAD BY EXAMPLES”. It’s rather ludicrous for PM to be allowed to run the country when his tainted records as the ‘King’ of scandals and corruption qualified himself as a con man.He should be jail serving his time.

    Comment by Egbert Lau — March 27, 2012 @ 7:08 AM | Reply

  2. Sivarasa at the News Conference

    Comment by Cowboy style — March 27, 2012 @ 1:49 AM | Reply

  3. Zaini Abu Bakar appears oblivious to what’s reality. Perhaps, he’s not fully conversant with developments as they unfold or he has simply refused to face reality. A kind of intellectual dishonesty as Rais Yatim has been branded with.

    SPR Officials continue to assuage the institution they pledge to upkeep but like the NFC and Shahrizat blatant denials blandly say they have interests of citizens at heart.

    The latest breaches revealed by Sivarasa of PR illustrates this:


    Comment by Cowboy style — March 27, 2012 @ 1:46 AM | Reply

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