Govt to table political funding bill next month

The bill is among the new laws and regulations to complement other initiatives in making Malaysia a corruption-free nation


THE much-awaited legislation on political funding is expected to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat next month.

Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the political funding bill is imperative in ensuring that money given to political parties would not be pocketed by certain leaders.

“Political party needs money, but we cannot allow politicians to receive funds under the name of the party and then source to his own pocket,” he told reporters after chairing the Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption meeting in Putrajaya yesterday.

The bill is among the new laws and regulations being mooted by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration to complement other initiatives in making Malaysia a corruption-free nation.

“We want to know how much money goes into the political parties, (and) whether it is really a donation.

“(Every) political party needs money… You can give money to Bersatu (Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia) if you like, if you have money. But, I will not give you any special treatment,” said Dr Mahathir, who is also the party’s chairman.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir brushed off allegations that the PH government had awarded a RM450 million project in Kelantan through direct negotiation.

“The company was willing to reduce its cost. It is a continuation of the previous project. So, it is not direct negotiation,” he said.

A letter purportedly from the Finance Ministry has made its rounds on social media, alleging that a construction project to build Bangunan Gunasama Persekutuan in Kota Baru, Kelantan, was awarded through direct negotiation.

Dr Mahathir also said direct negotiation practices may be applied under certain circumstances, such in a situation when only one company could supply military equipment to the armed forces.

“However, the relevant ministry must state the reasons for direct negotiation and get the Finance Ministry’s approval,” he added.

Dr Mahathir had also rebutted criticism hurled against his son, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, over the latter’s involvement in Opcom Holdings Bhd, which now has some interests in the government project.

“I did not sign anything on that. Did I sign for any approval?” he asked.