: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today expressed the need for a comprehensive joint-guidelines to ensure transparency of political funding among all political parties in the country.
In welcoming the proposal to implement the Political Contributions and Expenditures Act, he said the idea to have the law followed several series of discussion with all parties, including the relevant authorities.
He said a comprehensive guideline was required to ensure all political parties were transparent on the source of their political funds.
"We do not want only the ruling party, especially the component parties in Barisan Nasional (BN), which has been hurled with various accusations (to reveal the source of their political fund), as if the (opposition) parties on the other side do not receive political funds from sources that they cannot reveal," he told reporters after opening the Tanjung Piai UMNO delegates meeting here today.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also UMNO vice-president and discharging the duties of party deputy president, told this to reporters after opening the Tanjung Piai UMNO delegates meeting here today.
He said all quarters should have an open mind so that the proposed law could serve as a guideline for all political parties to ensure transparency in political funding.
Ahmad Zahid said this in response to the 32 proposals by the National Consultative Committee On Political Funding, including the introduction of the Political Donations and Expenditure Act to improve integrity and political funding.
Yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuan, who is chairman of the committee, said the proposal would be brought up to the Cabinet within the next two weeks before being presented to Parliament for debate and approval.
Earlier in his speech, Ahmad Zahid said the formula of "negotiating among siblings" is always practiced in UMNO and the BN component parties, especially in the distribution of parliamentary and state seats.
He said the BN always gave chance to all component parties to contest, even in constituencies where they did not represent the majority race.
"We (UMNO) negotiate like siblings because MIC, MCA, Gerakan and other component parties are like siblings, we are all sheltering under one umbrella," he added.
Despite the various challenges facing the BN component parties in the last general election, Ahmad Zahid said he believed the support from the people to BN was now stronger.
He reminded UMNO members to remain united and avoid rift among them.
"UMNO will continue to fight for the interests of Islam, the Malays and for the country, without sidelining other religions and races," he added.
Also present were Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, who is also Pulai Member of Parliament; Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan, who is also Pontian Member of Parliament; Tanjung Piai UMNO leader Datuk Md Othman Yusof and Johor Deputy State Assembly Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Aziz.