Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) to launch CRINIS-MALAYSIA “Money in Politics, People’s Concern”
Transparency International Malaysia is launching a project to promote transparency and accountability in political financing based on the Latin America’s Crinis (‘Ray of Light’ in Latin) Project by the Transparency International and The Carter Center. TI-M recognizes ‘Money in Politics’ as a necessary element for democracies and parties to run smoothly as long as financing is transparent, properly accounted for, fully publicly disclosed and subject to effective governmental and social oversight mechanisms.
The purpose of Crinis-Malaysia is to increase public trust in democracy and political parties; specifically to enhance transparency of election campaign financing as well as political party activities. This also address the concerns many Malaysians are having about ‘Money Politics’ as corruption in political parties are often discussed in the media and the public sphere and it is identified as a prevalent culture in many established political parties here.
TI-M believes that when proper and enforced regulations in political life are absent, the role of money in politics poses threat to the principle of citizen equality by allowing those who hold economic power to enjoy greater political influence and encourage corrupt practices among donors and elected representatives.
Crinis-Malaysia will embark on an intensive research covering extensive aspects of political finance situation in Malaysia including the following:
• Evaluation of actual political financing practices as well as legislation;
• Focuses on party and candidate election finances, in addition to examining party finances in non-election periods;
• Underscores accountability and disclosure to the public which are the key issues in political finance;
• Complements the qualitative analysis of transparency with a quantitative measurement system (index);
• Relies on numerous actors with professional experience in the area, and conducts field tests to observe and measure the accessibility of information;
• Provides detailed access to indicators included in the quantitative index, which can translate into best practices and offer reform and lobbying opportunities;
• A careful examination on the evolution of political financing practice in the main political parties of Malaysia
Crinis-Malaysia initiative does not seek to criticize but to help our democratic government improve. This innovative project will involve the following activities:
• Raise awareness and develop activities to promote transparency in political financing by working with political parties, electoral authorities, corporate donors, legislators, voters and other key national and international stakeholders,
• Form an Index that allows a thorough evaluation of the current situation, comparisons between parties and the definition and sharing of best practices,
• Recommend reforms based on a diagnosis of Malaysia where Crinis has been applied.
Transparency International Malaysia seeks cooperation and mutual understanding from all the key players and aspires to complete Crinis-Malaysia project by July 2009. The progress and results of the project findings will be released to the media regularly.
Tan Sri (Dr) Ramon V. Navaratnam
Transparency International – Malaysia