Low: Foreign funding should be banned for ‘political’ NGOs

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 — Civil society groups that have “political” agendas or are clearly aligned to political parties should not be allowed to receive foreign funding, said Datuk Paul Low.

The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, who heads the National Consultative Committee on Political Financing, said that laws should also be introduced or amended to require all NGOs to disclose their sources of funding.

“Those involved in politics, it’s alright for you to demonstrate against corruption, but when you have a political agenda, funding from foreign sources should be banned completely,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted. Read more

Local fundraising is tough, Bersih tells Azalina

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 — Bersih 2.0 has criticised a minister for suggesting that proposed political financing legislation be extended to civil society, amid claims that US billionaire George Soros funded local groups.

Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said’s suggestion would only hinder the civil society movement and that the introduction of another financing legislation for NGOs would add another layer of restriction.

Azalina has said that the leaked minutes purportedly from a meeting of Soros’s Open Society Foundations (OSF) made it necessary to examine funding for groups beyond political parties.

“NGOs are different from political parties. They are the supplementary support systems where government has failed to do so. Why penalise NGOs when their agenda is about building a better Malaysia?” Chin told Malay Mail Online when contacted.

The head of the polls reform group pointed out that it was only natural for NGOs to source other forms of funding from organisations like the European Union and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) due to the lack of assistance from the government. Read more

G70 raises concern over political funding

Source: The Star Online

PETALING JAYA: The G70 Coalition has commended some of the proposals outlined by the National Consultative Committee on Political Financing, but has identified three areas of concern.

Among the contentions of the coalition – led by G25, the group of influential Malays rich with experience in various fields – is the proposal to not have limits on donations to and expenditure by parties.

“While we acknowledge that individuals and companies have the right to support political parties, this right cannot be to the detriment of the fundamental principle of creating a level playing field during elections,” they said in a statement yesterday. Read more

Ban foreign donors, political funding panel says

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The bi-partisan panel on political funding says cash donations from foreign sources to a political party or politician should be banned. — AFP pic

The bi-partisan panel on political funding says cash donations from foreign sources to a political party or politician should be banned. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 ― The bi-partisan panel on political funding wants all forms of foreign donations banned under a proposed law to regulate political financing.

The proposal was part of the 32 recommendations in a report prepared and released by the National Consultative Committee on Political Financing today.

“Cash donations from foreign sources to a political party or politician should be banned.

“This includes donations from individuals, companies, foundations, organisations, associations or any registered or non-registered entities that are not domiciled in Malaysia,” the panel said in its report. Read more

Panel proposes RM3,000 ceiling before political donors must be named

Source: The Malay Mail Online

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The National Consultative Committee on Political Financing proposes 32 recommendations on political funding reforms. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 — The special panel on political funding has 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.

The body, to be overseen by a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Political Financing, will be called the Controller of Political Donations and Expenditure (Controller).

“We need to regulate political financing. Not to say that there is no need for money … there is a need to manage it to reduce abuses,” Minister in the Prime Minister Department Senator Datuk Paul Low told reporters here. Read more

Political funding reform panel to accept public suggestions

Source: The Malaysian Insider

The government committee tasked with reforming political funding is welcoming suggestions from the public and activists on ways to enhance transparency, accountability and integrity in the financing of political parties, an area which is largely unregulated in Malaysia.

“The minister in the prime minister’s department in charge of governance and integrity, Datuk Paul Low, has emphasised that an important role of this committee is to function as a platform for civil societies and the public at large to put forward their views and suggestions on how funding for political purposes is to be regulated in this country,” said a statement by the national consultative committee on political funding.

It said suggestions could be sent to the committee’s Facebook page or through the Malaysian Institute of Integrity. Read more

‘Corruption crisis’ label on Malaysia unfair, Pemandu anti-graft chief says

Source: The Malay Mail Online

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 4 ― It is unfair to label Malaysia as facing a “corruption crisis” given the work that the government has put into combat graft, Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu)’s Ravindran Devagunam said today.

Ravindran, who heads Pemandu’s anti-corruption unit, pointed out the government has been consistent in its efforts to fight graft.

“That’s a very unfair assessment in my mind because given the fact that in the last six years, it’s the government which has been driving a lot of the efforts to eradicate corruption.

“So I think it’s a very unfair comment to say we are going through a corruption crisis. I think every government is faced with all kinds of issues, I think we will overcome this,” he told reporters here when met after a session at the 16th International Anti-Corruption Commission.

Ravindran pointed out that Malaysia was the first country to use Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index as a measure of its anti-corruption efforts. Read more