IIM: Hopeful for green light on Political Donation, Expenditure Act

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Institute of Integrity (IIM) hopes the draft of the Political Donation and Expenditure Act could be tabled in Parliament as soon as possible with the Pakatan Harapan-led Federal Government.

Head of National Consultative Committee on Political Funding, Amerul Muner Mohammad said the secretariat which was formed in 2016, came up with 32 recommendations but had yet to be tabled in Parliament.

“Nevertheless, we hope the new government will speed up the issue as political funding is imperative under the new political system,” he told reporters after attending a briefing session with the Institutional Reforms Committee (IRC) here yesterday.

The Cabinet appointed IIM from among the vital bodies, as secretariat for the drafting of the Act since 2016, and among others recommended that there was a need to establish an independent body to monitor political financing in the country to avoid abuse of funds channelled via such financing.

Amerul Muner said the secretariat also pitched all recommendations to the IRC and hoped the committee could review and refine all recommendations, and turn it into a new law.

“The 32 (recommendations) (are) only on political financing…now, with the IRC terms of reference, political financing alone is insufficient. We need to review the entire (political) system, including the role and function of the Election Commission and also Parliament,” he added.

On May 15, the Council of Eminent Persons announced the formation of a five-member Committee on Institutional Reforms.

The members of the committee are retired judge of the Court of Appeal Datuk KC Vohrah, retired judge of the Court of Appeal and Suhakam Commissioner Datuk Mah Weng Kwai, president of the National Patriots Association Brig-Gen (Rtd) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji, Tunku Abdul Rahman Professor of Law at University Malaya, Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi and National Human Rights Society president Datuk S. Ambiga.

The committee will hand over its findings and recommendations to the council which will then present its report to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

It said economic reforms on their own could not bring the desired change unless accompanied by institutional reforms.

The Council of Eminent Persons was established on May 12 to advise the government on economic and financial matters. – Bernama