Malaysiakini Letter

Political funding needs auditing

Philip Wong  |  Published:

LETTER | There is much support for the recent call by army veterans' Patriots Association to have proper auditing for political funding in Malaysia to rein in corrupt practices and other malpractices in the political landscape here. 

The ongoing court cases involving members of the former ruling parties for corruption and other charges are prime examples of what can go wrong when political parties are flush with funds.

Political parties should be open to auditing by the Attorney-General’s Chambers if they are truly transparent and serving the people’s needs; if they are doing all their duties properly, why should they be afraid of auditing of their accounts? 

Furthermore, if people are generous enough to donate to their parties, it is their right and no one should begrudge them. Nevertheless, all donations must have a set limit whether from individuals or organisations to ensure that there is no single body that can effectively influence the party through such donations.

Malaysia cannot progress as a nation if we continue to suspect each other as corrupt; the world is already moving forward at such a rapid pace that we will be left behind if we remain static. 

Political parties should be able to indicate exactly what they want to do, how they intend to carry out their promises and setting time frames for their tasks when campaigning for votes and it is up to the public to decide which one is more genuine and promising. 

When the people are fully behind the elected government of the day, much can be accomplished by the country. After all, we are living proof of that – after independence, we managed to transform ourselves into one of the "tigers" of Asia as the people were fully behind the government of the day.

Politics is one aspect of our democratic way of life which will remain for generations to come and the faster we adopt policies that ensure political parties genuinely champion our rights and future wellbeing, the better we will all be. 

It’s something we will leave behind for our children and their children as well; we should set up a system whereby people are always fully aware of the direction of political parties and able to choose freely. 

We must pressure the political parties to abide by the ruling that their funding be audited by the AG’s office and nothing short of that will do.

The writer is director, Sarawak Institute for Public Affairs (Sipa), an NGO working for the betterment Sarawak.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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