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Joint Statement of Industry / Trade Organisations in Support of Institutional Reforms in Political Financing in Malaysia

Press Statement : November 11, 2016 - The business sector supports the efforts to reform political financing in Malaysia, in particular to make political financing more transparent and accountable.  We believe this will strengthen investor confidence in the country. 

The joint industry / trade organisations comprises the following:

  • Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM)
  • Malay Businessmen and Industrialist Association of Malaysia (PERDASAMA)
  • Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF)
  • Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MICCI)
  • Malaysian Iron and Steel Industry Federation (MISIF)
  • Malaysian Plastics Manufacturers Association (MPMA)
  • Malaysian Paints Manufacturers’ Association (MPMA)
  • SME Association of Malaysia (SME Association)
  • The Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) 

We believe that for Malaysia to enjoy a vibrant democracy and a prosperous economy, we must have strong and independent institutions with the highest level of integrity, accountability and transparency. Good governance also means the existence of checks and balances between the legislative, executive, judiciary and administrative government institutions. 

We share the concerns expressed by various parties about the state of political financing in the country today.  We applaud the steps that have been taken by all stakeholders to propose ways to resolve our predicaments.  We call all parties to stop politicising this issue.  Now is the time to act, and political leaders from all sides need to show their commitment by taking serious actions now. 

While the business sector recognises that political parties require funding to support their activities, there is a need for greater transparency, accountability and disclosure. At the same time, the freedom to support and donate to apolitical party is a fundamental liberty that must be maintained. Therefore we need to have a system that balances between the need for transparency and the need to protect individual or corporate donors against victimisation when a donation is made to any political party.  

Donations must also be voluntary and there should be limits.  There is a need to ensure that no one can be explicitly or implicitly compelled to make a donation to any political party. 

Money politics can lead to patronage and rent seeking activities which would overflow into the business sector, creating unfair competition, higher costs of doing business, inefficient use of resources in the issuance of government contracts.  

Since we are getting closer to GE14, we call upon all political parties and the government to act on this issue urgently.  To ensure Malaysia’s economy continues to grow, it is time for the politicians to lead the way and push for institutional reform for the country. 

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