KUALA LUMPUR – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Wednesday reiterated his proposal for the introduction of legislation and rules to control the receipt of funds and donations by political parties.
He said he had raised this matter four years ago but it was shot down by the opposition parties, but the opposition parties turned it into an issue when the matter was linked to Umno and the Barisan Nasional.
“The Umno Supreme Council took note of the fact that no legislation is applied at the moment in relation to political funding. Also, there is no necessity for any disclosure in terms of the law. The council took note that all political parties, including the opposition, engage in making contributions and collecting funds.
“Bersih 4 collected donations for funding and declined to reveal the sources when asked. On their (opposition) part, they do not meet the demands, but when it comes to Umno and the BN, they raise all kinds of issues. We cannot have double standards,” he said.
Najib, who is also Umno president, spoke at a news conference after chairing a meeting of the Umno Supreme Council at Menara Dato’ Onn at the Putra World Trade Centre here.
“Four years ago, I suggested that we find a suitable method (on the control of political funding) but the opposition parties did not agree. It is hoped that in the future we can have a suitable method to control political funding and donations,” he said.
On Aug 14, Najib announced the setting up of the National Consultative Committee on Political Funding tasked with drawing up a comprehensive and inclusive political financing plan to ensure that consultative steps and considerations were taken from every level.
Asked about an allegation by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that he had bribed Umno divisional chiefs to garner their support, Najib said it was up to the authorities to conduct an investigation.