Dialogue to discuss the Political Finance Bill

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PETALING JAYA: There will be an engagement session with MPs to get their views on the Political Finance Bill to be tabled in Parliament, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said.

“We will hold a dialogue session with government and opposition MPs on September 28 to get their views on the political issues of the political finance bill that is to be enacted,” the minister said in of the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law).

The engagement session will be held at the Parliament building at 2:30 p.m. next Wednesday, he added.

Wan Junaidi said that so far engagement sessions have been held with non-governmental organizations such as Ideas and the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) as well as with academics.

Similar engagement sessions will be held with government agencies and departments, he said in a statement yesterday.

“The government is confident that the bill will be tabled at the next meeting of Parliament for its first reading in early November, and will be read for a second time at the end of this month,” he added. .

The Dewan Rakyat, which will meet on October 3, will be in session until November 29.

The National Center for Governance and Anti-Corruption (GIACC), Wan Junaidi said, had already prepared the scope and parameters of the proposed bill which had been submitted to the attorney general’s chambers for consideration.

Civil society calls for political finance laws have intensified in recent months, particularly in light of several high-profile court cases related to “political donations”.

Although the political finance laws were first proposed in 2016 by the then National Advisory Committee on Political Finance, they were met with resistance from several quarters, including Pakatan Harapan.

The committee had made 32 recommendations to address the lack of transparent political finance laws, including creating the office of the political donations monitor and banning cash donations from foreign sources.

However, the Political Donations and Expenditures Bill was not submitted to Parliament until after the 14th general election in 2018.

In 2019, the Pakatan administration intended to introduce political finance laws, but was unable to do so after the government fell in February the following year.

Currently, there are no laws to regulate and monitor political funds, although there are limits on candidate campaign spending – RM200,000 for federal elections and RM100,000 for state elections.

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