The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) commends Pakatan Rakyat for advocating the adoption of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) in their 2015 Shadow Budget (Belanjawan Pakatan Rakyat). It will indeed improve transparency and accountability in the way revenues from oil and gas are received and managed.

The Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative is an international standard for ensuring transparency in the way oil, gas and mineral resources of a country are managed. It is developed and overseen by a coalition of government, companies, and civil society organisations.

Implementation of the EITI will therefore help improve the governance of oil and gas revenues and also facilitate a constructive dialogue between government, companies and civil society organisations on different aspects of extractive resources and revenue management. It will also provide a platform to discuss a more transparent oil and gas price model for subsidy rationalisation and transfers from federal to state governments.

Ideas has been promoting the EITI since early this year. We held several roundtable discussions on the EITI and its potential to improve the governance of oil and gas revenues in Malaysia with civil society organisations, members of the media, representative from oil companies and government.

We hosted Jonas Moberg, head of the International EITI secretariat, in June this year and we arranged a briefing for Pakatan Rakyat Members of Parliament.  We are very pleased that Pakatan Rakyat has responded positively to our proposal. We are continuing our advocacy for EITI and will be holding another session with key stakeholders including from the government this Monday Oct 13, 2014. We hope EITI will continue to receive more support in Malaysia.

IDEAS is is an independent cross-partisan think-tank that promotes market-based solutions to public policy challenges.

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