Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has announced a new plan to regulate political funding for the next general election after coming under intense pressure over the RM2.6 billion 'political funding' deposited into his personal bank accounts.
"At present, even though there are a few rules on election spending, there are no rules about political funding that can determine whether it is illegal or not.
Therefore, there is an urgent need to regulate political funding to ensure accountability and transparency in the interest of healthy political practices," he told a press conference in Putrajaya today.
Najib said the plan would be crafted by the newly formed national consultative committee on political funding or Jawatankuasa Konsultatif Nasional Mengenai Pembiayaan Politik (JKNMPP).
The committee would be chaired by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Paul Low ( photo ), who is tasked with overseeing matters related to integrity.
He would be assisted by Idris Jala, who is also a minister in the Prime Minister's Department.
He added the Institute of Integrity Malaysia will be be referred to for the reform effort and the effort will be financed by the Prime Minister's Department's Integrity and Administration Governance and Integrity Division
The plan is expected to be completed within a year.
Stakeholders to be consulted
Najib said he had raised this issue in 2009 but claimed it did not gain traction.
However, he said the newly set up committee will now consult all stakeholders to gain feedback in order to set up a check-and-balance mechanism.
"The JKNMPP will comprise political party representatives, community leaders, academics, thinkers as well as representatives from government agencies, the private sector, civil society and relevant stakeholders including youths.
"JKNMPP will consider all aspects of political funding rules including changes to institutions, oversight, legal enforcement and new rules," he said.
He said this was part of of the anti-corruption National Key Results Area under the Government Transformation Programme.