Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) welcomes the announcement by Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak of Malaysia on the setting up of a parliamentary select committee on electoral reforms.
This proposed committee comprising members of both the government and opposition is a positive move on the part of the Federal Government as the review and reform of Malaysia’s electoral system is long overdue. The Select Committee should be given the mandate and power to recommend all necessary actions which will ensure that elections in Malaysia can be conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner.
Addressing administrative and legislative procedures to ensure the impartiality of the Election Commission should be an important criterion.
TI-M believes that it is critical that the select committee restores public confidence in the electoral process. It will also defuse the politicization of electoral reforms and ensure in-depth and open discussions and resolution of major complaints received on the management of elections in Malaysia.
The direct involvement of all stakeholders during the committee’s deliberations is crucial to ensure that a comprehensive review of all matters related to Elections is undertaken. TI-M had in May 2011 submitted its memorandum to the Prime Minister on Reform of Political Financing in Malaysia.
Among TI-M’s 22 recommendations for urgent reforms are:
a. Enhance autonomy and independence of the Election Commission,
b. Introduce State Funding for political parties.
c. Introduce Regulation for Reporting of Political Financing
d. Full disclosure of Political Party and Candidate Financing
e. Regulating Political Donations
f. Equal and Fair Coverage by and Access to Public Media for all political parties.
TI-M had called for these reforms to be implemented before the 13th General Election.
Datuk Paul Low,
President, Transparency International Malaysia