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Malaysian political financing body recommends new laws, ban on foreign donations

The National Consultative Committee on Political Financing has come up with 32 recommendations in its report on Political Financing in Malaysia. 

KUALA LUMPUR: A national committee on political financing set up in the wake of a political donation scandal in Malaysia has recommended foreign donations be banned and new legislation be introduced, among other measures.

The National Consultative Committee on Political Financing has come up with 32 recommendations in its report on Political Financing in Malaysia, released on Friday (Sep 30).

The formation of the committee, chaired by Minister in the Prime Minister's office and former Transparency International Malaysia head Paul Low, was announced in August 2015 by Prime Minister Najib Razak.

It came in the wake of international  controversy surrounding US$681 million found in Najib's account. The Malaysian Attorney-General Apandi Ali concluded in January the money was a political donation from the Saudi royal family.

In its report, the committee is recommending, among others, the introduction of a new statute - the Political Donations and Expenditure Act - as well as for cash donations from foreign sources to a political party or politician to be banned.

The recommendations will be presented to the Malaysian cabinet, and may take up to the 15th General Election to fully come into force. Malaysia's 14th General Election is due by 2018.