Hornbill Unleashed

September 30, 2016

Checks against victimisation of political donors mooted

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:01 PM

The national consultative committee on political financing has proposed that anti-victimisation mechanisms for political donors be put in place.

This comes after concerns from the opposition that their funders might be discriminated against when they are made public.

“Political donors should not be victimised and some mechanisms should be introduced to protect the donors against victimisation,” said committee chairperson Paul Low in a statement today, issued along with the release of their full report.

In the report, the committee also recommended a mechanism created to enable donors who feel they have been unfairly treated to seek justice.

“This may include the introduction of provisions in existing anti-discrimination laws or the introduction of a completely new law,” the report read.

Previously, DAP’s Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua said that while they support political financing reforms, they also insist that the reforms cannot be abused by the ruling coalition to victimise DAP’s funders when they are made public.

The committee had suggested that all donations to a party or politician above RM3,000 or cumulatively above RM3,000 per annum or even indirect or in-kind donation valued at more than RM3,000 be declared to an appointed controller.

Such donations must also be declared within 30 days of receiving it, the report said.

Failure to submit the required information on time will be considered as corrupt and will be subjected to laws surrounding gratification, it proposed.

“This information shall be made public by the controller within two weeks of receiving such information using a method that is easily accessible by the public,” it further explained.

The position of the controller is another recommendation made by the committee, which had said that an office of the controller of political donations and expenditures (PDEA) should be created.

“The controller of the PDEA should be overseen by a board comprising credible and trusted figures with no active politicians,” it said.

It also proposed that a parliamentary standing committee on political financing be created, to scrutinise the work of the controller on behalf of the Parliament.

“The standing committee should comprise of representatives from all sides of the political divide as appointed by Parliament itself,” it said.

The committee was formed on Aug 14 last year after increased interest in political financing following the revelation of RM2.6 billion deposited into Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s personal bank account.

Najib had consistently denied wrongdoing and insisted that it was a political donation from the Middle East.

The attorney-general had later exonerated Najib and corroborated his claim, saying that it was a donation from Saudi Arabia.

JKNMPP Full Report in PDF format


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