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Political donations in party account - PM's 2012 stand
Published:  Aug 4, 2015 9:31 AM
Updated: 4:49 PM

Prior to deposits amounting to RM2.6 billion into Najib Abdul Razak's personal bank accounts, the prime minister had wanted political funding to be channeled officially into party accounts.

Najib had made this push as part of his Government Transformation Programme (GTP) in a speech delivered on Feb 27, 2012 in Putrajaya, according to the Prime Minister's Office archives.

In the speech, Najib said all contributions to any political party, be it at the state or federal levels, should be deposited into the party's official bank account.

He said this was to avoid politicians from abusing their party names in soliciting or collecting funds that could be misused for personal purposes.

He added all contributions must come with a receipt and be deposited into the party's account and they would be audited annually.

"The government believes that such initiatives can avoid corruption and misappropriation at the grassroots and the funds can be channeled to the intended quarters in the party and subsequently to the rakyat," he said.

The GTP annual report 2012 hailed Najib's nod of approval for the effort.

"The prime minister has taken positive steps forward with the implementation of this initiative, which will take place in GTP 2.0.

"The announcement is a key endorsement and initiative, which aims to plug the leak of funds that are meant for political parties," it noted.

However, subsequent GTP annual reports have been less rosy about efforts to implementing political financing reforms.

In the GTP annual report 2013, it stated: "Plans to amend the political financing framework are ongoing, and will require more in-depth study as it is a sprawling and multi-faceted area.

"Given the complexity of the issue, the anti-corruption National Key Results Area (NKRA) team believes that it is more important to have the new framework done right rather than done quickly," it said.

The GTP annual report 2014 adopted a similar tone, stating: "The anti-corruption NKRA team continues to work with political parties from both sides to secure unanimous buy-in for this framework."

"While still a challenge for the NKRA as a whole, the NKRA team continues to engage with the parties and civil societies to work on the framework while addressing public concerns with issues linked to political financing and public procurement," it said.

Najib had last week blamed the opposition for the stalled effort amid the controversy of RM2.6 billion being deposited into his personal bank accounts.

After Najib refused to explain the money other than to say he had never taken government funds for personal gain, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) yesterday declared the funds to be "donations" and not from state-owned 1MDB.

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