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    May 26, 2016

    KL to have donation law in place before 2018 election


    WHEN Malaysia holds its next general election in 2018, a law should be in place requiring political parties to disclose all funding from foreign sources and local interest groups so as to prevent electoral meddling, said the minister tasked with fostering political integrity in the country.

    The announcement came as questions persist over the origin of the RM2.6 billion (S$875,000) found to have been deposited into Prime Minister Najib Razak's personal account before the 2013 general election.

    Paul Low, chairman of the National Consultative Committee on Political Financing - formed in August by Mr Najib following uproar over the deposit - yesterday updated the media on the planned political donation act.

    Speaking at the Malaysian Institute of Integrity in Kuala Lumpur, he said the last meeting to iron out details will be held in July before the draft is submitted to the Cabinet, reported Berita Harian.

    "Once the law is adopted in 2018, all political parties must disclose information about their donors, the amounts they receive and how would the money be spent," Mr Low added.

    "This is to help restore the trust that had been eroded between political leaders and the people," Mr Low, who is also minister in the PM Department in charge of governance, integrity and human rights, pointed out.

    According to him, any money coming from outside the country, even if owned by a Malaysian, must be scrutinised.

    The law would also target political financing from government-linked companies, the Sun Daily quoted him as saying.

    Mr Low suggested the Election Commission play the supervisory authority, taking over from the Registrar of Society, which is over-burdened

    Mr Najib was cleared in January of corruption by the Attorney-General over the RM2.6 billion donation.