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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Political funding: BN and opposition positions

UMNO/BN is now hammering on the point that it was the opposition parties that opposed disclosure of their funders. And Najib who is currently under a big dark cloud of suspicions, have come out to proclaim that he is prepared to declare UMNO's funders if the opposition is prepared to do likewise?

Malaysia badly needs transparency regarding political funding, but just why are the opposition parties reluctant to do so? To me, it is clear, it is because of the uneven playing field, the fact that practically every institution of importance (Election Commissions, Registra of Societies, Police, the mainstream media, MACC etc) in Malaysia is under a cloud of suspicions that they are not impartial. Not forgetting power abuses such as punishing opposition funders by withholding license, contracts and business whereas UMNO/BN funders would have no worries in this area.

Take the Election Commission and the blatant case of Najib recorded on video his "I help you, you help me" case in Sibu for example. Did the Election Commission do anything? And the blatant use of government facilities for campaigning during elections. That is clearly wrong but the EC just looked the other way.

Whereas because power is currently in UMNO/BN's hands. Business and individuals will not worry about their funding activities revealed as they would never be punished, on the other hand they probably would be rewarded. Not only that, there is a cap on the amount of funds that can be used in campaigning during elections. UMNO/BN could probably exceed it, even opening I think, and the EC would probably not act. For example, when it was revealed that a huge amount of money was banked into Najib's account which Najib did not deny but only said he did not take money for personal use. He probably was trying to say the money was used for political purposes, but did the EC do anything as very likely, the cap on political funding was breached.

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