Time to regulate political funding
Undoubtedly funding is an essential part of any political parties in Malaysia. Over the years we know both Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) parties have resorted to contribution and donation by individuals or corporations. However such political funding has always shrouded in secrecy.
It is not something new. Political parties and politicians need money to serve in their respective constituencies or to fund their campaign during an election. For obvious reason both BN and PR had been quite reluctant to push for a reform to regulate political financing.
If there is a law to regulate the fundings; corruption, abuse and undue influence in politics can be curbed in order to secure a sustainable financial base and healthy political environment. Hence the issues whether BN or PR parties are financially supported by government linked companies or private corporations and individuals can be resolved once and for all. Rumours such as whether 1MDB or certain developers actually funded BN or PR respectively will be known and seen as an accountable and transparent process in a mature democracy.
In addition by amending the political funding laws such as the Election Offences Act 1954 , it will also promotes clean and credible candidate to stand for election instead of for money only. This is because all forms of contributions must be channelled to an official account instead of personal account. This may also well resolves the issue of warlords. As a result all related expenses can be independently audited to promote a conducive political environment.
Lastly it will also reduce the capacity of those with private agenda to influence the election outcomes. Parti Gerakan should consider the same for the next general election.