Reforms needed to address money politics

Dr Yii stresses a point during the webinar

KUCHING: The government must introduce reforms to address the current practice of money politics.

Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said reforms were especially needed in regards to political financing to ensure transparency and accountability.

“This is a systemic issue and reforms must be comprehensive and holistic in addressing issues of legislation, institutional empowerment and education,” he said in a Facebook post on Saturday (Sept 25).

On Friday, the MP attended a webinar titled, “Money Politics: Financing Free and Fair Elections” organised by Transparency International Malaysia.

Dr Yii said it was impossible to speak of politics without talking about funding as the common prerequisite for entering politics was to have a financial backing.

“When I first entered politics, a well-intended person told me that for me to succeed in this field, I must either be rich or connected to someone very rich. However, I am neither rich nor am I connected to the very rich,” he said.

The MP viewed that when politics is monetised, it becomes less centred on ideology, policy, public service, national interests or leadership.

“Politics becomes about who can easily raise and disburse money in return for support,” he said.

Dr Yii viewed that such incidents could be caused by politics of patronage and development politics as well as lack of public or government constituency funding.

He added it could be caused by certain political cultures as well as voter expectations where they view their elected representatives as being automated teller machines (ATMs).