Politics

Opposition parties under fire again over political funding

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – February 2, 2016: Opposition parties came under another round of heavy fire in cyberspace after their leaders insisted that there was no need for their parties to declare their political funding.

The matter regarding the disclosure of political donors was brought up in light of the recent Umno’s RM2.6billion political donation controversy that was confirmed to be donated by Saudi royals.

These opposition leaders once again reportedly claimed that the source of their finances was already “commonly known.”

One of them, Klang DAP lawmaker Charles Santiago said that his party had always disclosed the amount raised from fundraising dinners and events immediately after they were held.

Be that as it may, many had chided these opposition leaders and accused them of being “downright hypocrites.”

“If it’s Najib’s (Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak) donation, they will pull out all the stops to bring the wrath of the ten hells down on him,” wrote Nuraisyamsuzura Rozaidi in Facebook.

“But when the same thing hits them right on their face, they don’t want to tell us because according to them ‘everybody’ knows who their donors are. So much for their so-called integrity.

“Malaysians, let’s all press for the law of full disclosure on all political party funding,”

Another Facebook user Alies Aliesz deemed the reluctance of opposition leaders to disclose the identity of their party’s donors did not come as a surprise to him.

“As expected. Double standard to the maximum. I rest my case. Our opposition win the most hypocrite opposition in the world (award) and they dare to ask the government to come clean in everything,” he wrote.

“What? Commonly known! Pardon me but I have a big reservation and doubt on that statement,” chided Engku Suhaimi.

Lilian Lee viewed that if DAP insisted that it is “so clean” then they should just declared their donors.

“What is there to hide? Why the selective policies? Hypocrites!” she wrote.

“Bunch of hypocrites. Why don’t their die hard supporters insist for them to declare their funding?

“Fairness and justice must be for all not selective people or parties,” wrote Nancy Miranda.

Loopie San wrote that in order to end the so-called “hypocrisy” in regards to foreign political funding, a new set of laws needed to be gazetted in the country’s legislature.

“I want laws that compel all political parties to be transparent in their funding so that people like me can access such information in the internet,” he wrote.

Soo Thoo Chead Jee pointed out that such hypocrisy was the reason why it is important to introduce laws to regulate and control political funding.

“The more they refuse, the more it seems like they are hiding something,” she wrote.

As it is, they are currently no laws in the country that makes it compulsory for political parties to disclose their funders.

In fact, on 2013 Transparency International – Malaysia (TI-M) secretary-general Josie M.Fernandez said that there are no limits to the amount of donations political parties and candidates can receive from special interest groups.

Najib had reportedly on March 2012, mooted the call for laws to regulate political funding be formulated and amended in the legislature.

However, the call was not well received by the opposition parties as they claimed that such secrecy was needed in order to safeguard the identity and well-being of their donors.

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About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at zaidiazmi91@gmail.com.