The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH) welcomes the announcement by YB Dato’ Seri Azalina Othman Said that the Cabinet has agreed to the enactment of the Political Financing Act.
During her speech in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, Azalina says that the Cabinet had referred seven policy parameters to the Parliamentary Special Select Committee (PSSC) in Human Rights, Election and Institutional Reform for their consideration.
The seven policy considerations or parameters are welcomed but we hope that BHEUU and/or the PSSC for Human Rights, Elections and Institutional Reform, will actively engage with all stakeholders before the bill is tabled to Parliament, especially civil society organisations who have been actively campaigning and proposing details for a robust Political Financing Act.
BERSIH also hopes that the new Act will include a component for public funding of political parties. This would ensure that the Act would not only regulate how parties get their funding but also provide public funding based on their vote share in the last election and a special fund for political parties to increase women representatives in Dewan Rakyat.
With this component, we want to minimise the parties’ dependency on large corporate donors who may try to influence government policies or have unfair access to government contracts.
The Political Financing Act has been discussed before and delayed for too long now, it is high time now to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat. Now is the time for our nation to move one step forward to reform our political system.
The Steering Committee of BERSIH