Still no decision on how to regulate political funding, says Dr M

KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Harapan (PH) has yet to decide on how to regulate political funding, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

In a press conference after chairing a PH presidential council meeting at the Yayasan AlBukhary building here, he said the reality was that political parties needed funds.

“Political parties need money,” he said. “To buy nasi lemak also needs money.

“Not billions,” he added. “We discussed how political parties can get funding, but we couldn’t come to a decision so we will study how they can operate without funding.”

He said there had been suggestions that PH follow the German model where the government gives funds to political parties so they do not need to solicit money from the public.

“This can lead to corruption,” he said. “That’s why when a company wanted to donate RM100 million to Tabung Harapan, we rejected it because the one who wanted to donate has other intentions, that’s why we didn’t accept.”

In July, Mahathir said the government was considering tabling political funding laws to curb corruption.

He said the government was looking at models from other countries such as Germany, where the government funds political parties.

Speaking today, he said the German formula might be sufficient.

“But this doesn’t mean if the government funds political parties, everyone wants to start a party to get money.

“All this we need to study so that there are no elements of corruption when political parties collect funds. If they collect a little bit, it’s fine, but if they collect millions, that’s corruption.”

He said when PH was the opposition, it had held fund raising dinners to raise money.

“But we weren’t in power then, so we couldn’t ‘reciprocate’ through government decisions,” he added.

He also stood by his criticism of the Jews, saying: “I speak the truth, I don’t care.

“I’ve been called anti-semitic. Why is it you can’t criticise the Jews when you can criticise everyone else without them giving you a label? This is something I don’t understand.

“Are the Jewish people so privileged that you cannot say anything about them even when they do wrong like bombing children’s hospitals?”