Barisan Nasional has openly admitted it spent RM1.5 billion in GE13. Whether this money came from public funds, foreign donors or very generous individuals, the fact is money should not buy elections. Parties should not pay people to vote for them. Votes should be based on which candidates have the best policies, not the most money. This is a fundamental principle of any election and it is the reason why the Election Offences Act puts a limit on spending by any candidate.
This legislation does not go far enough.
BERSIH 2.0 is working with G25 and other NGOs to promote a comprehensive change to the financing of politics. This includes the following reforms:
Introduce a Political Parties Act which will include:
- Rules on campaign contributions
- Limits on party spending
- Disclosure and reporting of funding sources and spending
- Strengthening enforcement capabilities of the EC
- Limits on donations and the banning of anonymous donations, foreign funding and party ownership of business
Empower the Election Commission to:
- Protect its autonomy and impartiality by changing how Commissioners are appointed and removing it from under the Prime Minister’s Department
- Register and supervise political parties
- Strengthen its monitoring and enforcement capabilities
Introduce direct public funding where funding of all political parties comes from the government. This is practiced in 70% of countries worldwide and increases the transparency in the financing of parties and candidates.