Thursday, January 21, 2010

New Political Parties Act?

One of the Prime Minister's key National Key Result Area (NKRA) Labs is on Fighting Corruption. The were plenty of proposals within this NKRA made by the labs, and it's available for review here. However, it is curious that the chief of the lab choses to focus on one tiny aspect among the tonnes of proposals within, that is creating new laws to control political funding.

Is there an ulterior motive? You decide. Below is the write up on the press conference I gave a few days back on the issue by The Malaysian Insider.
A proposed law to regulate funding of political parties – ostensibly to curb corruption – has failed to impress the opposition, in particular the DAP.

The proposed Political Parties Act, seeks to “enforce existing political laws and conduct a study to revamp political funding.”

“This is under the corruption lab, which is one of the NKRA (National Key Result Areas). The government has put it up on their website, www.transformation.gov.my, although it has not been publicised in great detail,” said Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua today.

Pua said he was “curious” as to why only one aspect of the entire NKRA for corruption was paid due emphasis, and wanted to know the government’s rationale for doing so.

“I am worried that the reason for this Act is that they are looking to potentially control the support of funds. Listing down the names of donors of opposition parties presents a problem for a lot of donors,” said Pua.

“Without an even playing field, this creates a major problem for politics in Malaysia.”

The DAP man also questioned the government’s motives as the papers were presented as if these were policies which will be enacted by the government, not proposals.

He also took the opportunity to point out other policies, namely the government allocation to MPs, whereby “all MPs have a right to receive funds regardless of political affiliations.”

“There are other important policies other than the Political Parties Act. To combat corruption the government should disclose details of all government procurement contracts ... what about the details of Matrade? What about the IPP contracts? Why don’t you declassify them in the interest of achieving NKRAs?”
We'll be setting up a meeting with Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz to figure out exactly whether the proposals by NKRA has actually been adopted or approved by the cabinet. And if they are, why aren't we seeing their implementation such as equal allocations for all Members of Parliament, or public disclosure of information for all privatisation contracts.
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