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Malaysia

In law
26
In practice
15

Malaysia's political finance system does not provide any type of funding, direct or indirect, for parties or candidates. Restrictions on contribution are likewise largely absent, though anonymous donations to candidates are not permitted. During campaigns, candidates may not spend more than a fixed amount, but there is no cap on party spending. In order to generate funds, parties rely on business ventures and membership dues. Reporting requirements are light: according to the law, parties must report on their finances annually, and candidates must do so only once, in a single post-election report. Reports are not completely itemized, and in practice, do not disclose a complete list of donors or donations. Of the information that is submitted, no party reports are made available to the public, and candidate reports, in practice, are accessible only in hard copy for a period of six months after the election. Third party actors appeared in the 2013 elections, but they are not required to report on their financial activities, and no information is available on their independent contributions and expenditure. The Electoral Commission is responsible for overseeing political finance. In law, the Commission is not granted investigatory powers. Its appointees are not appointed based on merit, and their independence, in practice, is not fully guaranteed. The body does not conduct investigations, lacks the capacity to do so, and never imposes sanctions on parties or candidates who violate the law. In Malaysia, not only is the regulatory framework fairly weak, enforcement is less than rigorous.

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    Direct and Indirect Public Funding

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      Direct Public Funding
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        1
        Score
        NO
        In law, there is direct public funding for electoral campaigns.More about indicator

        No such law exists.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where there is direct public funding for both political parties and individual candidates to campaign. A 100 also applies where only one of the two actors can be elected and, therefore, only one is entitled to direct public funding.

        A MODERATE score is earned where per law only one of the two actors (either political parties or individual candidates) is allocated direct public funding to campaign, even though both can be elected.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

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        2
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        NO
        In law, there is a transparent and equitable mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns.More about indicator

        Direct public funding is not made available to political parties and candidates. As such, there is no mechanism to ensure the transparent and equitable distribution of such funding.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) direct public funding for political parties and individual candidates' electoral campaigns is allocated through a clearly defined calculation mechanism that is transparent and equitable, and 2) there are clearly defined eligibility criteria.

        A MODERATE score is earned where direct public funding for political party and individual candidates' electoral campaigns is allocated through a clearly defined calculation mechanism that is transparent and equitable, but eligibility criteria are not clearly defined.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

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        3
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent is the mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns transparent, equitable and consistently applied?More about indicator

        Not applicable. Direct public funding for political parties and candidates is not made available in Malaysia. Hence, there is no mechanism to ensure transparent, equitable and consistent disbursements of such funding.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) electoral campaigns allocations are always defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism, and 2) the defined eligibility criteria are applied consistently.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) electoral campaign allocations are usually defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism but exceptions exist, or 2) the eligibility criteria are usually applied but exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) political campaign allocations are rarely or never defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism, or 2) the defined eligibility criteria are rarely applied.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

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        4
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent does the entity in charge of public funding make disbursement information publicly available?More about indicator

        Direct public funding for political parties and candidates is not available in Malaysia. Therefore, it is impossible to assess availability of such information publicly.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) complete information on the disbursements is published less than a month after disbursement, and 2) the information is available on the Internet for free or in hard copy at photocopying cost.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the information published is incomplete or published more than two months after disbursement, or 2) obtaining the information costs more than photocopying.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) disbursement information is published more than four months after disbursement, or 2) no disbursement information is published or released upon request.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

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      Indirect Public Funding
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        5
        Score
        NO
        In law, use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates is prohibited.More about indicator

        No such law exists.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where there is an explicit ban on the use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates. A YES is also earned where there are clearly defined exceptions, which are accessible to all actors equally.

        A MODERATE score is earned where an explicit ban exists but it only applies to one of the two actors, even though both can be elected. A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        A NO score is also earned where the law exists, but allows discretionary exceptions.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

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        0
        In practice, to what extent are no state resources used in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates' electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        There was regular use of state resources in favour of the incumbent government in previous general elections, including the most recent general elections in 2013. This was due to the absence of clearly defined role of caretaker government after dissolution of Parliament. When the Parliament was dissolved, the incumbent government assumes the role of caretaker government, allowing the incumbent an upper hand in utilising state resources to its advantage.

        This problem was illustrated in an example highlighted in the media: The incumbent government used three vehicles that belonged to the Information Department for the opening of its coalition’s election command centre for a parliamentary constituency. The Information, Communications and Culture Minister commented that an interim government has the right to use government machinery as long as official campaigning has not started. However, the Minister was mistaken, as no such right is enshrined in law.

        Furthermore, in a report compiled by local independent observers, it was reported that abuses of state resources were observed in 11 constituencies under the watch of the observers. A common abuse noted was the use of government property such as school halls, including a lunch event on 28 April in Selayang constituency with the caretaker Prime Minister.

        Meanwhile, a report compiled by an independent research institute, the Merdeka Centre, found that the ruling government repeatedly made development project announcements. For instance, the caretaker government announced three major projects worth as much as RM8 billion (USD 2,539,682,539) in Cyberjaya, and build a new hospital in Kapar. These actions were promoted at campaign events.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there is no evidence of authorities using state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates. A 100 is also earned where there are clearly defined exceptions and are equally accessible to all actors.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) documented evidence indicates occasional use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates, or 2) clearly defined exceptions are not equally accessible to all actors.

        A 0 score is earned where documented evidence indicates regular use of state resources in favor of or against certain political parties and individual candidates.

        Sources
        1. GE13: A caretaker govt – what can it do, Datuk Dr Cyrus Das, The Star, 28 March 2013. http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2013/03/28/GE13-A-caretaker-govt--what-can-it-do.aspx/
        2. Stop abusing public funds and facilities, politicians told, Debra Chong, The Malaysian Insider, 10 April 2013. http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/stop-abusing-public-funds-and-facilities-politicians-told
        3. The People’s Tribunal on Malaysia’s 13th General Elections: Summary of the Report, Bersih 2.0, 25 March 2014. http://www.bersih.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Summary-of-Report-Final.docx
        4. Interview with Maria Chin Abdullah. Chairperson. Bersih 2.0. 2 August 2014.
        5. Interview with Saifuddin Abdullah, former Member of Parliament, 6 August 2014.
        6. An Election Observation Report for GE13: Clean & Fair? Pemantau Pilihan Raya Rakyat. March 2014. (see attached report)
        7. GE-13: Election Watch Report. Merdeka Centre. December 2013. http://www.merdeka.org/v2/download/Election%20Watch%20Report%20(GE13).pdf
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        NO
        In law, political parties and individual candidates have free or subsidized access to equitable air time for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        No such law exists.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to air time for electoral campaigns is granted in a transparent, equitable way, and 2) there are clearly defined eligibility criteria.

        A MODERATE score is earned where free or subsidized access to air time for electoral campaigns is granted in a transparent, equitable way, but eligibility criteria are not clearly defined.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

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        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent is free or subsidized access to air time provided in a transparent, equitable way to political parties and individual candidates for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        Not applicable. Officially, there is no free or subsidised access to air time in state-owned media. However, in practice, the ruling coalition gets more positive news and air time compared to the ruling coalition. This was highlighted in a report compiled by the University of Nottingham (Malaysian branch) (see attached report). The report highlighted that the National News Agency of Malaysia (BERNAMA) gave more coverage to the ruling coalition compared to the opposition. The tone used by BERNAMA also gave more positive coverage to the ruling coalition compared to the opposition.

        In an email interview with a former journalist who extensively covered the 2013 general elections, he noted that the ruling coalition initiated a massive campaign through the purchase of TV and radio campaign ads from private media outlets. But the opposition could not initiate such a campaign as the ruling coalition owns most of the mainstream private media. According to unverified sources, the journalist also noted that the ruling coalition received huge discount for their media campaign.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to media advertising is always provided in a transparent and equitable way, and 2) the defined eligibility criteria are applied consistently.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to media advertising is usually provided in a transparent and equitable way, but exceptions exist, or 2) the eligibility criteria are not always applied.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) there's rarely free or subsidized access to air time for political campaign, and 2) access exists but is not provided in a transparent, equitable way.

        Sources
        1. Interview with Maria Chin Abdullah. Chairperson. Bersih 2.0. 2 August 2014.
        2. Interview with Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament, 5 August 2014
        3. Email interview with Kuek Ser Kuang Keng. Former journalist. Malaysiakini. 20 August 2014.
        4. Watching the Watchdog – Malaysian Media Coverage of GE13. University of Nottingham and Centre for Independent Journalism. 2013. http://www.scribd.com/collections/4297029/Watching-the-Watchdog-Media-M
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    Contribution and Expenditure Restrictions

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      General Rules on Electoral Campaign Contributions
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        Score
        NO
        In law, cash contributions are banned.More about indicator

        There is no limit on amount of contribution and restriction on mode of contribution (in cash or through electronic means).

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where cash contributions are banned and all financial contributions must be made via the banking system.

        A MODERATE score is earned where cash contributions are allowed up to a maximum limit, regardless of the limit.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

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        MODERATE
        In law, there is a ban on anonymous contributions.More about indicator

        Political parties are required to submit an annual financial return, which list out their sources of income. But it was not made clear in the law that an itemised disclosure, i.e. revealing donors identity, is mandatory.

        Clause 14 of Societies Act 1966 reads: "Every registered society shall, within sixty days after the holding of its annual general meeting or if no annual general is held, within sixty days after the end of each calendar year, forward to the Registrar ... (d) the accounts of the last financial year of the society, together with a balance sheet showing the financial position at the close of the last financial year of the society."

        Individual candidates are required to disclose the identity of donors as per Clause 23 of Election Offences Act 1954. A disclosure template/form is also provided in the law. (see Form B, subsection 23(1)).

        Clause 23 of Election Offences Act 1954 reads: "Within thirty-one days after the date of publication of the result of an election in the Gazette every candidate at that election or his election agent shall deposit with the State Elections Officer a true return, in this Act referred to as the 'return respecting election expenses,' in Form B in the First Schedule, containing detailed statements as respects that candidate of ... (e) all money, securities and other valuable consideration received by or promised to the candidate or his election agent from or by any other candidate or person for the purpose of expenses incurred or to be incurred on account or in respect of the management of the election, naming every person from whom the sum may have been received or by whom such sum may have been promised, showing as to each sum whether it was received as contribution, loan, deposit or otherwise."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where the law stipulates that anonymous contributions are banned.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the ban exists, but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where small anonymous donations are allowed up to a maximum threshold equal to or less than the equivalent to US$300.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Societies Act, Clause 14, 1966 www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%207/Act%20335.pdf

        Election Offences Act, Clause 23, 1954 www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%201/Act%205.pdf

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        MODERATE
        In law, in-kind donations to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.More about indicator

        Political parties are required to submit an annual financial return, which list out their sources of income. No specific guidance is given, however, specifying the contents of that report, so it's not explicitly clear that in-kind donations must be reported. Indeed, the Societies Act provides only for a general requirement for societies to submit an annual financial statement to the Registrar of Societies (ROS). It does not specify which accounting standard must be adopted.

        Clause 14 of Societies Act 1966 reads: "Every registered society shall, within sixty days after the holding of its annual general meeting or if no annual general meeting is held, within sixty days after the end of each calendar year, forward to the Registrar ... (d) the accounts of the last financial year of the society, together with a balance sheet showing the financial position at the close of the last financial year of the society."

        Individual candidates are required to disclose all donations received, including in-kind donation as per Clause 23 of Election Offences Act 1954. A disclosure template/form is also provided in the law. (see Form B, subsection 23(1)).

        Clause 23 of Election Offences Act 1954 reads: "Within thirty-one days after the date of publication of the result of an election in the Gazette every candidate at that election or his election agent shall deposit with the State Elections Officer a true return, in this Act referred to as the 'return respecting election expenses,' in Form B in the First Schedule, containing detailed statements as respects that candidate of ... (e) all money, securities and other valuable consideration received by or promised to the candidate or his election agent from or by any other candidate or person for the purpose of expenses incurred or to be incurred on account or in respect of the management of the election, naming every person from whom the sum may have been received or by whom such sum may have been promised, showing as to each sum whether it was received as contribution, loan, deposit or otherwise."

        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. The feedback provided here is comprehensive, capturing what is required of parties when submitting their annual accounts to the Registrar of Societies as required under the Society's Act. There is no requirement for parties to disclose the sources of their funds.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where all in-kind donations must be reported to the oversight authority.

        A MODERATE score is also earned if the requirement to report such information exists, but applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Societies Act, Clause 14, 1966 www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%207/Act%20335.pdf

        Election Offences Act, Clause 23, 1954 www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%201/Act%205.pdf

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        MODERATE
        In law, loans to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.More about indicator

        Political parties are required to submit an annual financial return, which list out their sources of income. No specific guidance is given, however, specifying the contents of that report, so it's not explicitly clear that laons must be reported. Indeed, the Societies Act provides only for a general requirement for societies to submit an annual financial statement to the Registrar of Societies (ROS). It does not specify which accounting standard must be adopted.

        Clause 14 of Societies Act 1966 reads: "Every registered society shall, within sixty days after the holding of its annual general meeting or if no annual general meeting is held, within sixty days after the end of each calendar year, forward to the Registrar ... (d) the accounts of the last financial year of the society, together with a balance sheet showing the financial position at the close of the last financial year of the society."

        Individual candidates are required to disclose all donations received, including loans, as per Clause 23 of Election Offences Act 1954. A disclosure template/form is also provided in the law. (see Form B, subsection 23(1)).

        Clause 23 of Election Offences Act 1954 reads: "Within thirty-one days after the date of publication of the result of an election in the Gazette every candidate at that election or his election agent shall deposit with the State Elections Officer a true return, in this Act referred to as the 'return respecting election expenses,' in Form B in the First Schedule, containing detailed statements as respects that candidate of ... (e) all money, securities and other valuable consideration received by or promised to the candidate or his election agent from or by any other candidate or person for the purpose of expenses incurred or to be incurred on account or in respect of the management of the election, naming every person from whom the sum may have been received or by whom such sum may have been promised, showing as to each sum whether it was received as contribution, loan, deposit or otherwise."


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree - The feedback provided here is comprehensive, capturing what is required of parties when submitting their annual accounts to the Registrar of Societies as required under the Society's Act. There is no need for disclosure of the sources of their funds.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where all loans must be reported to the oversight authority.

        A MODERATE score is earned where loans must be reported, but the requirement applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Societies Act, Clause 14, 1966 www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%207/Act%20335.pdf

        Election Offences Act, Clause 23, 1954 www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%201/Act%205.pdf

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      Limits on Contributions and Expenditures during Electoral Campaign Periods
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        13
        Score
        NO
        In law, contributions from individuals are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        There is no law restricting the amount of contributions that can be made by individuals to political parties or candidates.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) individuals may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law.

        A MODERATE score is earned where a maximum amount exists, but it applies only to contributions for one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where individuals are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

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        NO
        In law, contributions from corporations are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        There is no law imposing restrictions on the amount of political contributions that can be made by corporations.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) corporations may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law.

        A MODERATE score is earned where a maximum amount or ban exists, but it applies only to contributions for one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where corporations are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

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        15
        Score
        NO
        In law, contributions from foreign sources are banned.More about indicator

        No such law exists.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where it is forbidden for political parties and individual candidates to receive contributions (financial or in-kind) from foreign sources.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the ban exists but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates), or 2) contributions from foreign sources are allowed to a maximum amount.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

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        NO
        In law, contributions from third-party actors (unions, foundations, think tanks, political action committees, etc.) are limited to a maximum amount or banned.More about indicator

        Malaysian legislation does not restrict or impose limits on the contributions of third-party actors.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) third-party actors may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law, or 2) are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the maximum amount or ban exists only for the majority of third-party actors, but not all, or 2) the maximum amount or ban exists, but applies only to contributions for either political parties or individual candidates.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

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        17
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        MODERATE
        In law, election campaign spending by political parties and individual candidates is limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        Expenditure limits are imposed on individual candidates during the election campaign period. The limits are as below: - Members of Parliament: RM200,000 (USD 63,492) - Members of State Legislative Assembly: RM100,000 (USD 31,476)

        Clause 19 of Election Offences Act reads: "Subject to such exception as may be allowed in pursuance of this Act, no sum shall be paid and no expense shall be incurred by a candidate at an election or by his election agent, after the date of publication of the notice of the election in the Gazette, during or after an election, on account of or in respect of the conduct or management of such election, in excess of— (a) two hundred thousand ringgit in the case of an election to the Dewan Rakyat; (b) one hundred thousand ringgit in the case of an election to a Legislative Assembly"

        However, there is no legislation in place to restrict the expenditure incurred by political parties during election campaign period.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. It should be noted that candidates do not report the volume of money spent in a constituency during the period when parliament or a state assembly is dissolved and before the official campaign period begins. There is normally a period of about a week between the dissolution of parliament and nomination day.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where it is forbidden for political parties and individual candidates to spend more than a certain amount in a political campaign.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the maximum amount exists, but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Election Offences Act, Clause 19, 1954 www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%201/Act%205.pdf

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        Open Question: Do the national laws regulating political finance also apply to sub-national units? If not, to what extent do sub-national units have laws regulating political finance?More about indicator

        Two key laws, namely the Societies Act 1966 and the Election Offences Act 1954, were put in place to regulate and monitor political financing in Malaysia. These laws are applicable to all political parties and candidates participating national or sub-national elections. This requirement was made clear in the following clauses of the laws

        Clause 2 of Societies Act 1966 states that it is applicable to political parties that “participate through its candidates, in elections to the Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives), or to a Dewan Undangan Negeri (State Legislative Assembly), or to a local authority …”

        Clause 2 of Election Offences Act also defined clearly that it is applicable to all elections “held in accordance with the provision of an written law relating to the election of persons to be members of the Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives), a Legislative Assembly (State) or a local authority …”

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe the applicability of national political finance regulations at the sub-national level, being sure to answer: 1) whether national laws are applicable to sub-national campaigns; 2) if not, to what extent do sub-national units have similar laws regulating political finance; and 3) whether there are any reports of problems arising from gaps in this framework.

        Sources

        Societies Act, Clause 2, 1966 www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%207/Act%20335.pdf

        Election Offences Act, Clause 2, 1954 www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%201/Act%205.pdf

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        Open Question: What are the predominant sources of funding for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        Political parties and candidates in Malaysia rely on several sources of funding for electoral campaigns. Traditional sources of funding such as membership fees and donations from private individuals and supporters are most commonly used. The opposition coalition relies heavily on traditional sources and their successes in fundraising dinners are widely seen as a strong indicator of grassroots support.

        In addition to that, opposition elected representatives contribute a portion of their monthly allowances to the party (confirmed by interview with member of parliament). Another source of funding for candidates is personal savings. In the interviews conducted with former and current member of parliament, both replied that they used their own savings to pay for elections campaign.

        However, it was noted that the cost of elections increased tremendously due to increasing competition for public office and party posts. Reliance on traditional sources of funding is no longer tenable. Hence, parties and candidates started seeking alternative sources. Some parties opted for direct involvement through business ventures. This phenomenon was observed as early as 1960's. UMNO’s acquisition of Straits Times (newspaper agency) was followed by a series of other business acquisitions by the ruling coalition. In the 1970s and 1980s, political parties’ (especially the ruling coalition) involvement in the business sector was highly visible. Their involvement was further enhanced through affirmative action policy, namely, the New Economic Policy which justified their action in order to promote corporate ownership (for the majority Malays) or to protect their business interests (for the minorities such as Chinese and Indians) based on ethnicity. However, by the 1990s, there was a changing trend in the ownership and control of the political party-linked companies. This was mainly due to the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997/98 where many of these political party-linked companies went bankrupt due to mismanagement and rampant corruption. Since the beginning of new millennium, political party ownership of businesses has become increasingly obscure, where party assets were held by nominees in trust or through unlisted companies. At present, only a few companies are publicly owned by political parties: • UMNO’s ownership of Utusan Malaysia (national newspaper agency) and the New Straits Times, Malaysia's major English-language newspaper • MCA’s ownership of The Star (national newspaper agency)

        The leading Chinese newspapers are owned by individuals closely aligned with the ruling coalition. Money is channelled from these media firms into the hands of politicians in the ruling coalition who control of these companies. It is difficult to trace the flow of the funds from these companies into the political system as the shares of these companies are now held by proxies of UMNO or by businessmen-cum-politicians.

        On the other hand, business involvement with the opposition coalition remains minimal. Their most prominent business funding came from the sale of party publications. However, Malaysian legislation (a goverment directive issued in 1990) stated explicitly that party publications can only be sold to party members, which greatly restricted their sales. According to a government directive issued in 1990, political parties are allowed to sell party publications to party members only and at specific locations. These requirements came as part of the permit conditions issued by the Home Minister who was granted absolute power in granting and revoking a permit to print or publish any publications.

        In 2009, the government cited violation of the PPPA when suspending Harakah, a party organ owned by a major component party of the Opposition. However, the government did not specify which clause of the Act did Harakah violated.

        Another source of political funding was covert funding by political parties and candidates. It existed as early as late 1950s. UMNO leaders establish covert “special funds” to allow companies and individuals to make contributions on a regular basis. This was to ensure UMNO could maintain financial independence and reduces its reliance on the more wealthy coalition partner. In a report published by Transparency International Malaysia, a former Prime Minister admitted the existence of covert funding.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe the important sources of funding for electoral campaigns, being sure to answer: 1) where does the preponderance of funding come from - public, individual, corporate, or other; 2) to what extent do individual candidates self-finance; and 3) do political parties have other methods of generating campaign funds, such as owning their own businesses or trusts.

        Sources
        1. Interview with Edmund Terence Gomez. Professor. University of Malaya. 31 July 2014.
        2. Interview with Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament, 5 August 2014.
        3. Interview with Saifuddin Abdullah, former Member of Parliament, 6 August 2014.
        4. Reforming Political Financing in Malaysia. Transparency International Malaysia. 2010. http://www.parlimen.gov.my/images/webuser/jkuasa/memorandom/11112011/Transparency%20International%20Malaysia.pdf
        5. Home Ministry censures 10 publications for violating Act, The Star. 11 July 2010. http://www.thestar.com.my/story/?file=%2f2010%2f7%2f11%2fnation%2f6644943&sec=nation
        6. Freedom of Expression and the Media in Malaysia. Article 19 (London) and SUARAM (Kuala Lumpur). December 2005. http://www.article19.org/data/files/pdfs/publications/malaysia-baseline-study.pdf
        7. Fresh curbs on Media Raise Questions. Anil noel Netto. 25 September 1997. http://www.ipsnews.net/1997/09/malaysia-fresh-curbs-on-media-raise-questions/
        8. The Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA). 1990. http://www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%207/Act%20301.pdf
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        Open Question: Have there been documented instances of violations of contribution or expenditure limits or any of the laws mentioned above (Section 2)?More about indicator

        There is no limitation on electoral contributions in Malaysia. Hence there were no documented instances of violations in this regard.

        On the other hand, the Election Offences Act 1954 had clearly stated the limits on election expenses of candidates. In the most recent election, there were sporadic complaints that individuals candidates exceeded the permissible spending limit during the campaign period. For example, a complaint was lodged against the current Home Minister who allegedly spent more than RM200,000 (USD 63,492) in last election. An election petition was filed to the Election Court over a comment Home Minister allegedly made that some 24,000 campaign workers were given RM100 (USD 100) and 1kg of rice each. If the allegation was proven to be true, this single expenditure would had exceeded the RM200,000 threshold. Nevertheless, the case was thrown out by the Apex court who said that his purported act was conducted on the eve of official campaign period, which started on 20 April 2013, and was therefore legal.

        Party expenditures are not limited by law, and involve massive sums. As an illustrative example, consider a RM218 million (USD 69,210,000) suit that was filed in 2011 by a private company who claimed to have supplied the incumbent government with various election paraphernalia during the general election in 2004. The case was, however, struck down by the Apex court on the grounds that the claim was filed outside the effective civil claim period of six years from 2004.

        During the interviews with former EC Deputy Chairman, and current and former member of parliament, it was revealed that the government had never initiated any prosecutions against individuals for violating political financing-related legislations.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please list and describe all documented instances of: 1) violation of contribution limits, 2) violation of expenditure limits, and 3) financial contributions that circumvent the regulatory framework. The objective of this question is to learn more about the local context, so please explain the cases in as much detail as relevant.

        Sources
        1. Apex court allows polls petition against Zahid. The Malay Mail. 23 December 2013. http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/appellate-court-allows-polls-petition-against-zahid
        2. Polls complaints against Zahid again thrown out. The Malay Mail. 19 February 2014. http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/polls-complaints-against-zahid-again-thrown-out
        3. Federal court ruling on Zahid vote-buying claim is against free and fair polls, says Bersih 2.0. V. Anbalagan. The Malaysian Insider. 9 July 2014. http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/federal-court-ruling-on-zahid-vote-buying-claim-is-against-free-and-fair-po
        4. RM218 mil suit against BN struck out. The Malaysian Insider. 22 September 2011. http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/rm218m-suit-against-bn-struck-out/
        5. Apex court throws out RM218m suit against Umno. The Malaysian Insider. http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/apex-court-throws-out-rm218m-suit-against-umno
        6. Interview with Maria Chin Abdullah, Chairperson, Bersih 2.0. 2 August 2014.
        7. Interview with Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament, 5 August 2014.
        8. Interview with Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, former Deputy Chairman of Election Commission, 17 Aug 2014
        9. Email interview with Kuek Ser Kuang Keng. Former journalist. Malaysiakini. 20 August 2014.
        10. Parliamentary Reply to Ong Kian Ming, current Member of Parliament for Serdang
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    Reporting and Public Disclosure

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      Reporting Requirements to the Oversight Entity
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        Score
        NO
        In law, political parties and individual candidates report itemized contributions and expenditures both during and outside electoral campaign periods.More about indicator

        Political parties are required to submit an annual financial return, which lists out their sources of income and expenditure to the Registrar of Societies as per Clause 14 of the Societies Act 1966. This covers contributions and expenditures both during and outside electoral campaign periods. The Act provides only for a general requirement for societies to submit an annual financial statement to the Registrar of Societies (ROS). No itemization is required.

        Clause 14 of Societies Act 1966 reads: "Every registered society shall, within sixty days after the holding of its annual general meeting or if no annual general meeting is held, within sixty days after the end of each calendar year, forward to the Registrar ... (d) the accounts of the last financial year of the society, together with a balance sheet showing the financial position at the close of the last financial year of the society."

        Individual candidates are required to submit an election expenses return (Clause 23 of Election Offences Act 1954) which covers only election period, i.e. from nomination to balloting. There is no requirement for disclosure outside electoral campaign periods. Once again, no itemization is required, as is apparent from the sample report included as a source.

        Clause 23 of Election Offences Act 1954 reads: "(1) Within thirty-one days after the date of publication of the result of an election in the Gazette every candidate at that election or his election agent shall deposit with the State Elections Officer a true return, in this Act referred to as the “return respecting election expenses,” in Form B in the First Schedule, containing detailed statements as respects that candidate of— (f) the amount of expenses, if any, incurred by any person authorized by the candidate or his election agent under subsection 15A(1)."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates are required to report itemized contributions and expenditures to the oversight authority, both during and outside electoral campaign periods.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the requirement applies for itemized contributions, but not for itemized expenditures, or 2) it applies only during the electoral campaign but not outside it. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement exists, but it only applies to one actor (whether political parties and individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Societies Act, Clause 14, 1966 www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%207/Act%20335.pdf

        Election Offences Act, Clause 23, 1954 www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%201/Act%205.pdf

        Sample Financial Report, 13 June, 2013. https://www.dropbox.com/s/523ihwd8ac8tkd1/OKM%20Election%20Expenses%20Submission%2013%20June%202013%20%28JT%29.pdf?dl=0

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        22
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        MODERATE
        In law, political parties and individual candidates are required to report their financial information on a monthly basis during the electoral campaign.More about indicator

        Political parties are required only to submit an annual financial return, and candidates must submit one post-election financial return. According to the Electoral Commission, the campaign period must be at least 10 days in length, but no maximum is set. During the 2013 elections, the campaign period was 15 days.

        Clause 14 of Societies Act 1966 reads: "Every registered society shall, within sixty days after the holding of its annual general meeting or if no annual genera meetingl is held, within sixty days after the end of each calendar year, forward to the Registrar … (d) the accounts of the last financial year of the society, together with a balance sheet showing the financial position at the close of the last financial year of the society."

        Individual candidates are required to submit an election expenses return after balloting. The return only covers financial information during electoral campaign periods (which must last a minimum of 10 days) and is only made once.

        Clause 23 of Election Offences Act reads: "(1) Within thirty-one days after the date of publication of the result of an election in the Gazette every candidate at that election or his election agent shall deposit with the State Elections Officer a true return, in this Act referred to as the “return respecting election expenses,” in Form B in the First Schedule, containing detailed statements as respects that candidate of ... (c) the disputed claims so far as the candidate or his election agent is aware; (d) all unpaid claims, if any, of which the candidate or his election agent is aware in respect of which application has been made or is about to be made to an Election Judge or Judge of the High Court; (e) all money, securities and other valuable consideration received by or promised to the candidate or his election agent from or by any other candidate or person for the purpose of expenses incurred or to be incurred on account or in respect of the management of the election, naming every person from whom the sum may have been received or by whom such sum may have been promised, showing as to each sum whether it was received as contribution, loan, deposit or otherwise; (f) the amount of expenses, if any, incurred by any person authorized by the candidate or his election agent under subsection 15A(1). "

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates must report monthly their financial information to the oversight authority during the electoral campaign.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the requirement exists on a quarterly basis. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement only applies to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Societies Act, Clause 14, 1966 www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%207/Act%20335.pdf

        Election Offences Act, Clause 23, 1954 www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%201/Act%205.pdf

        Minimum 10 Day Campaign Period. Alang Bendahara and Suganthi Suparmaniami. The New Strait Times. 20 April 2012. Electoral Commission on the Length of the Campaign Period, 2012. http://www2.nst.com.my/nation/general/minimum-10-day-campaign-period-1.75769

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        MODERATE
        In law, political parties and individual candidates are required to report their financial information on a quarterly basis outside of electoral campaign periods.More about indicator

        Political parties are required to submit an annual financial return.

        Clause 14 of Societies Act 1966 reads: "Every registered society shall, within sixty days after the holding of its annual general meeting or if no annual general meeting is held, within sixty days after the end of each calendar year, forward to the Registrar … (d) the accounts of the last financial year of the society, together with a balance sheet showing the financial position at the close of the last financial year of the society."

        Individual candidates are required to submit an election expenses return after balloting. The return only covers financial information during electoral campaign period and is only made once. Clause 23 of Election Offences Act reads: "(1) Within thirty-one days after the date of publication of the result of an election in the Gazette every candidate at that election or his election agent shall deposit with the State Elections Officer a true return, in this Act referred to as the “return respecting election expenses,” in Form B in the First Schedule, containing detailed statements as respects that candidate …”

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates must report quarterly their financial information to the oversight authority outside of electoral campaign periods.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the requirement exists on a yearly basis. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement only applies to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Societies Act, Clause 14, 1966 www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%207/Act%20335.pdf

        Election Offences Act, Clause 23, 1954 www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%201/Act%205.pdf

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        0
        In practice, to what extent do political parties and individual candidates report itemized financial information monthly?More about indicator

        Only candidates are legally obliged to report their financial information during campaign periods. They do so once after polling. By using the template provided by Election Commission, candidates are required to declare itemised financial information. However the declarations lack the depth required to facilitate effective monitoring. This was confirmed by lead researcher who managed to acquire copies of election expenses return filed by individual candidates who participated in the general election 2013.

        Additionally, the accuracy of candidates’ reports is questionable as the Election Commission are not empowered under the law to inspect and verify authenticity of the reports. All election-related complaints will be handed over to the police or anti-corruption commission for investigation. A member of parliament shared that Election Commission officers rejected his election expenses return on the basis that the amount of donations received do not equate with expenditure. The MP was then advised to “adjust” the election expenses declaration to show that his expenditure equates to contributions received. As the MP puts it, the declaration is merely for formality and lacks substance. The last election campaign was 15 days in length, but as mentioned, the reports submitted by candidates are inaccurate. Further, itemized information is not reported, as is visible in the attached report.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) political parties and individual candidates report on their financial information monthly, and 2) the reports include both itemized contributions and itemized expenditures.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the reports are occasionally general rather than itemized or don't contain all accounts, or 2) the reporting frequency is quarterly.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) political parties and individual candidates rarely or never file reports, 2) the reports are filed but are rarely or never itemized or refer only to either contributions or expenditures, or 3) the reporting frequency is less than quarterly.

        Sources
        1. Who pays our political parties. Ding Jo-Ann. The Nut Graph. 29 July 2010. http://www.thenutgraph.com/who-pays-our-political-parties/
        2. Bar political parties from commerce, TI-M tells polls panel. Debra Chaong. The Malaysian Insider. 11 November 2011. http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/bar-political-parties-from-commerce-ti-m-tells-polls-panel
        3. Interview with Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament, 5 August 2014.
        4. Interview with Saifuddin Abdullah, former Member of Parliament, 6 August 2014.
        5. Interview with Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, former Deputy Chairman of Election Commission, 17 Aug 2014
        6. Email interview with Kuek Ser Kuang Keng. Former journalist. Malaysiakini. 20 August 2014.
        7. Sample Financial Report, 13 June, 2013. https://www.dropbox.com/s/523ihwd8ac8tkd1/OKM%20Election%20Expenses%20Submission%2013%20June%202013%20%28JT%29.pdf?dl=0
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        0
        In practice, to what extent do financial reports by political parties and individual candidates include all types of contributions?More about indicator

        Political parties are required by law to submit an annual audited financial report. However, the accuracy of the reports is hard to ascertain as they are only accessible to party members. Covert funding has always been a grave concern in Malaysia. It existed as early as the late 1950s. UMNO leaders establish covert “special funds” to allow companies making contributions on a regular basis. This was to ensure UMNO gain financial independence and reduces its reliance on the more wealthy coalition partner. In a report published by Transparency International Malaysia, a former Prime Minister admitted the existence of covert funding.

        In more recent times, a leader of incumbent government in Sabah reportedly received a RM40 million (USD 12.7 million) donation from a wealthy businessman and the case was widely reported in the media. It was a controversial incident as the businessman was detained and charged with money laundering by the Hong Kong authorities. Initial investigation found that the money was earmarked for a political leader, but the case was dropped after the incumbent government accepted a subsequent explanation that the money was a political donation to the party, but not the leader himself. If the case was not reported in the media, it remained to be seen if the donation would be included in the party’s annual financial report. This was further confirmed in a report in which the current Prime Minister commented that the party is “not at liberty to disclose (political donations) …”

        On the other hand, individual candidates are required to declare contributions received using the template provided by the Election Commission. However, accuracy of the reports is highly questionable for several reasons. For instance, issuance of receipts to donors is not mandatory under the law; hence, it is extremely difficult to trace the actual amount received by candidates. Additionally, these declarations only cover contributions received and expenses made during campaign periods. Similar to contributions to political parties, allegations were rife that individual candidates also received covert funding from various sources and never disclosed them. Indeed, the reports normally include broad categories such as "donation received" or "grant received" without naming the contributors.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) reports include an itemized list of all contributions indicating their type (in-kind, cash where allowed, etc.) and amount (estimated value for in-kind contributions), and 2) contain donors' names and addresses (or other personal identifier).

        A 50 score is earned where only one of the two conditions listed in the 100 criteria is met.

        A 0 score is earned where neither condition is met.

        Sources
        1. After tycoon’s conviction, PKR demands new probe on Musa Aman. The Malay Mail. 27 February 2014. http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/after-tycoons-conviction-pkr-demands-new-probe-on-musa-aman
        2. RM40mil smuggled cash not for Musa but for Sabah Umno. Hazlan Zakaria. Malaysiakini. 11 October 2012. http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/211387
        3. Reforming Political Financing in Malaysia. Transparency International Malaysia. 2010.
        4. Interview with Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament, 5 August 2014.
        5. Interview with Saifuddin Abdullah, former Member of Parliament, 6 August 2014.
        6. Interview with Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, former Deputy Chairman of Election Commission, 17 Aug 2014
        7. Email interview with Kuek Ser Kuang Keng. Former journalist. Malaysiakini. 20 August 2014.
        8. Returns and Statement of Election Expenses (see attachments)
        9. Najib says will not disclose source of Sabah UMNO’s political donation. MD Izwan. The Malaysian Insider. 13 October 2012. http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/najib-refuses-to-disclose-source-of-sabah-umnos-political-donation
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      Availability of Electoral Campaigns' Financial Information to the Public
      More about category
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        26
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, financial information from political parties and individual candidates must be available to the public.More about indicator

        Financial reports of political parties can only be accessed by a subscriber or party member as per Clause 29 of Societies 29. The Clause reads: "Every registered society shall supply free of charge to every member or subscriber or person having an interest in its funds on his application either— (a) a copy of the last annual return of the society; or (b) a balance sheet or other document duly audited containing the same particulars as to the receipt and expenditure, funds and effects of the society as are contained in the annual return."

        The election return of individual candidates will be gazetted (published) for public scrutiny after submission to the Election Officers. Clause 24 of Election Offences Act reads: "(1) When any return respecting election expenses and the statements made in respect thereof have been received by the State Elections Officer, he shall, as soon as may be, cause a notice of the date on which the return and statements in question were received by him and of the time and place at which they can be inspected to be fixed in some conspicuous place in his office and published in the Gazette."

        The notice of Gazette will be published online and made available to the public free of charge. However, any public citizen who would like to inspect the actual election return (with receipts and bills) must write to the State Election Officers and pay a small amount of processing fee.

        Clause 24 (2) of the Election Offences Act specifically mention that the State Election Officers are required to keep and preserve all election returns with the bills for a period of 6 months after the Gazette had been published. Clause 24 (2) of the Act reads: "(2) The State Elections Officer shall preserve all such returns and statements with the bills and vouchers relating thereto and at all reasonable times during six months next after the publication in the Gazette of the notice mentioned in this section shall permit any person to inspect them and to make extracts therefrom on payment of a fee of ten ringgit and shall, on payment of two ringgit for each folio of one hundred words, supply a copy or copies of any part thereof; and after the expiration of the said period of six months the said documents may be destroyed or returned to the candidate if application for their return is made by the candidate before they are destroyed."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where in law financial information of political parties and individual candidates must be made available to the public, whether online or digitally within two days of request.

        A MODERATE score is earned where financial information must be made available to the public, but no requirement exists regarding cost, format or number of days within which it must be made available.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Societies Act, Clause 29, 1966 www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%207/Act%20335.pdf

        Election Offences Act, Clause 24, 1954 www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%201/Act%205.pdf

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        25
        In practice, to what extent can citizens easily access the financial information of all political parties and individual candidates?More about indicator

        In practice, it is impossible for the public to access financial information of political parties as it was made clear in the law that only a member can request for such information. A former journalist also revealed that he is not aware of any successful attempt by general citizens in accessing this type of information.

        On the other hand, the information contained in the financial reports of individual candidates is made available for public inspection for a period of six months after polling. The information can be obtained at the offices of States Elections Director. It is not easy to access this information due to the limited time frame imposed by elections laws and non-availability of such information online.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) all relevant financial information is freely available online, 2) it can be obtained digitally within two days of requesting it, and 3) it is in a machine readable format (for example in csv or xml format).

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) information is available but in some cases is incomplete or lacking detail, 2) obtaining complete information takes up to a month, or 3) it's not necessarily digital or in machine readable format.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the information is not publicly available, or 2) obtaining it takes more than three months, or 3) the cost of obtaining it is prohibitive for the regular citizen.

        Sources
        1. Interview with Maria Chin Abdullah, Chairperson, Bersih 2.0. 2 August 2014.
        2. Interview with Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament, 5 August 2014.
        3. Interview with Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, former Deputy Chairman of Election Commission, 17 Aug 2014
        4. Email interview with Kuek Ser Kuang Keng. Former journalist. Malaysiakini. 20 August 2014.
        5. Returns and Statement of Election Expenses (see attachments)
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        50
        In practice, to what extent is financial information published in a standardized format?More about indicator

        The financial information of political parties is not made publicly available. Therefore it is impossible to ascertain whether the information is published in a standardised format.

        On the other hand, financial information of individual candidates is displayed for public viewing after polling. The information is displayed using a standardised format (Form B as provided in the Elections Offences Act 1954). This was confirmed through interviews with former Deputy Chairman of Election Commission and individual candidates who had participated in general elections.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where financial information for all political parties and individual candidates is available to the public in a standardized format.

        A 50 score is earned where only part of the information is published in a standardized format. A 50 score is also earned where the information is standardized, but it doesn't cover all political parties and individual candidates.

        A 0 score is earned where financial information is not available in a standardized format.

        Sources
        1. Interview with Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament, 5 August 2014.
        2. Interview with Saifuddin Abdullah, former Member of Parliament, 6 August 2014.
        3. Interview with Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, former Deputy Chairman of Election Commission, 17 Aug 2014.
        4. Returns and Statement of Election Expenses https://www.dropbox.com/s/9th72at4dmp0w3k/Elections%20Returns%20Gazette.%20State%20Assembly%20Elections%202013%20%28Selangor%29.pdf?dl=0
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        0
        In practice, to what extent do mainstream journalism media outlets use political finance data in their reporting?More about indicator

        Media reports with special focus on official political finance are rarely published in the mainstream media outlets. The main reason for this was the paucity of such official information. Additionally, the freedom of the media is highly restricted in Malaysia, which impinges upon the willingness and ability of media outlets to address issues that may reflect poorly on the governing parties. This was confirmed via an interview with a former journalist. However, during the heights of general election 2013, there were a handful of reports that used unofficial political finance data. The interviewees also concurred to this point.

        For example, a report was published in Malaysiakini that summarised total amount of state resources (such as development targeted pledges and cash assistance under the 1Malaysia Programme) used by incumbent government to influence citizen’s voting behaviour.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where at least three independent mainstream journalism media outlets have used officially published political party or individual candidate financial information as part of their reporting.

        A 50 score is earned where one independent mainstream journalism media outlet has used officially published financial information as part of its reporting.

        A 0 score is earned where no mainstream journalism media outlet has used officially published financial information as part of its reporting.

        Sources
        1. Interview with Maria Chin Abdullah, Chairperson, Bersih 2.0. 2 August 2014.
        2. Buying support – Najib’s ‘commercialisation’ of GE13. Bridget Welsh. Malaysiakini. 23 April 2014. http://bridgetwelsh.com/2013/04/buying-support-najibs-commercialisation-of-ge13/
        3. Interview with Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament, 5 August 2014.
        4. Interview with Saifuddin Abdullah, former Member of Parliament, 6 August 2014.
        5. Interview with Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, former Deputy Chairman of Election Commission, 17 Aug 2014.
        6. Email interview with Kuek Ser Kuang Keng. Former journalist. Malaysiakini. 20 August 2014.
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        50
        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws?More about indicator

        In practice, there were not more than two media reports on violations of political finance laws. The interviewees concurred on this point. The most widely reported case was an election petition lodged against the current Home Minister for allegedly spending more than RM200,000 (USD 63,492) in the 2013 general election.

        Another case highlighted in the media was the extravagant expenditure incurred by 1Malaysia-Penang Welfare Club. The NGO, named after a concept introduced by the Prime Minister to foster national unity, was widely believed to be financed by individuals linked with the incumbent. The NGO was reported to have been giving out generous goodies and donations to the public and welfare groups. It also organised a 1Malaysia-themed concert to attract attention of electorates. By law, 1Malaysia-Penang Welfare Club had violated Clause 8 (Treating) and 10 (Bribery) of the Election Offences Act 1954. However, no actions were taken against them and it raises suspicion of selective enforcement as they are associated with the incumbent government.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. There was discussion of the unconfirmed abuse of funds during the campaign period in newspapers published in the state of Sabah, situated in Borneo. Here, the Watan Sabah: Media Alternatif Rakyat (Sabah Native: People's Alternative Media) carried allegations of the use of a substantial amount of money by one candidate, Lajim Ukin, who belonged to the opposition party, PKR. Lajim had joined PKR just before the general election, having been a member of longstanding with the ruling coalition.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there were no news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        A 50 score is earned where there were news reports or other documented incidents of no more than two cases of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        A 0 score is earned where there were frequent news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        Sources
        1. Interview with Maria Chin Abdullah, Chairperson, Bersih 2.0. 2 August 2014.
        2. Interview with Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament, 5 August 2014.
        3. Interview with Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, former Deputy Chairman of Election Commission, 17 Aug 2014.
        4. Apex court allows polls petition against Zahid. The Malay Mail. 23 December 2013. http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/appellate-court-allows-polls-petition-against-zahid
        5. Polls complaints against Zahid again thrown out. The Malay Mail. 19 February 2014. http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/polls-complaints-against-zahid-again-thrown-out
        6. Federal court ruling on Zahid vote-buying claim is against free and fair polls, says Bersih 2.0. V. Anbalagan. The Malaysian Insider. 9 July 2014. http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/federal-court-ruling-on-zahid-vote-buying-claim-is-against-free-and-fair-po
        7. Thousands throng the 1Malaysia charity concert in Penang. OpalynMok. The Malaysian Insider. 20 April 2013. http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/thousands-thronged-the-1malaysia-charity-concert-in-penang
        8. What is the ‘1Malaysia-Penang Welfare Club’?. GH Kok. Malaysiakini. 16 April 2013. http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/226975
        9. 1Malaysia NGO gives RM2mil to journo, welfare groups. Susan Loone. Malaysiakini. 9 April 2013. http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/226204
        10. Email interview with Kuek Ser Kuang Keng. Former journalist. Malaysiakini. 20 August 2014.

        Reviewer's sources: Tony Paridi Bagang, 'Beaufort, Sabah: Whither Lajim's Popularity', in Meredith L. Weiss (ed.), 'Electoral Dynamics in Malaysia: Findings from the Grassroots', Singapore: Institute for Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), 2014, pp:223-233.

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        0
        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying?More about indicator

        A report compiled by an independent research institute, Merdeka Centre, records at least three instances of vote buying in the most recent election, in addition to at least 67 cases of treating and gifting by political parties and candidates during the campaign period that could constitute vote buying. These cases involved dinner hosting and gift giving to constituents.

        Some reports of vote-buying, supported by video and photos, were published in alternative media, such as online media or blogs. The rarity of such reports can be attributed to tight control the incumbent government has on the media through direct and indirect ownership, as well as draconian laws such as the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, Sedition Act 1948 and Official Secrets Act 1972, not to the absence of vote buying.

        An interesting development in the general elections 2013 was the formation of a citizen independent election observers group known as PEMANTAU (“observer” in the Malay language). This group was formed prior to the general elections and recruited normal citizens to monitor the conduct of elections in selected constituencies. PEMANTAU published a report in March 2014 detailing incidents of vote-buying through cash hand-outs and distribution of goodies such as rice packets.

        Another common practice in Malaysia that is bordering vote-buying is the distribution of “travel expenses” to out-of-town voters. These voters would travel to their constituency closer to the polling day to cast their votes. As a token of appreciation, political parties and candidates would reimburse travel expenses incurred by the electorates (this was also confirmed by email interview with a former journalist). Sources maintain that these cases likely qualify as vote-buying, though there's no way to verify that voters cast their votes in return for travel expenses.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there were no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        A 50 score is earned where there were news reports or other documented incidents of no more than two cases of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        A 0 score is earned where there were frequent news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        Sources
        1. Caught on camera – BN’s hatchet faced vote buyers. Sarawak Report. 5 May 2013. http://www.sarawakreport.org/2013/05/caught-on-camera-bns-hatchet-faced-vote-buyers/
        2. Interview with Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament, 5 August 2014.
        3. Interview with Maria Chin Abdullah, Chairperson, Bersih 2.0. 2 August 2014.
        4. Interview with Saifuddin Abdullah, Former Deputy Higher Education Minister, 6 August 2014.
        5. Interview with Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, former Deputy Chairman of Election Commission, 17 Aug 2014.
        6. Email interview with Kuek Ser Kuang Keng. Former journalist. Malaysiakini. 20 August 2014.
        7. An Election Observation Report for GE13: Clean & Fair? Pemantau Pilihan Raya Rakyat. March 2014. (see attached report)
        8. GE-13: Election Watch Report. Merdeka Centre. December 2013. http://www.merdeka.org/v2/download/Election%20Watch%20Report%20(GE13).pdf
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        0
        In practice, to what extent do civil society organizations use political finance data?More about indicator

        Local civil society actors do not use political finance data in their activities, including production of reports or other advocacy work.

        The most recent study conducted by civil society in this area was done by Transparency International – Malaysia. The report was published in 2010 using unofficial political finance data and other secondary sources such as academic reports. It was the only comprehensive study done by any local civil society in Malaysia.

        A group of citizen independent election observers compiled a comprehensive election observer report (see attached report). The report detailed incidents of political violence, bribery, illegal campaigning, procedural irregularities and abuse of government machinery and property. But the report did not include analysis on party or candidate financing, nor did it use officially published data.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where at least three civil society organizations have used officially published political party or individual candidate financial information as part of their advocacy or awareness work.

        A 50 score is earned where one civil society organization has used officially published financial information as part of its advocacy or awareness work.

        A 0 score is earned where no civil society organization has used officially published financial information as part of its work.

        Sources
        1. Interview with Maria Chin Abdullah, Chairperson, Bersih 2.0. 2 August 2014.
        2. Reforming Political Financing in Malaysia. Transparency International Malaysia. 2010.
        3. An Election Observation Report for GE13: Clean & Fair? Pemantau Pilihan Raya Rakyat. March 2014. https://www.dropbox.com/s/8xb2uaopkhdmb1n/Pemantau-Report-English-Final.pdf?dl=0
        4. Email interview with Kuek Ser Kuang Keng. Former journalist. Malaysiakini. 20 August 2014.
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        Open Question: Have there been political finance legal reforms or reform bills presented to the legislature in the last 10 years?More about indicator

        There was one national level amendment made in the Parliament with regards to political financing. The amendment was proposed in 2003, and it raised election expenditure limits for candidates. The amendment was mooted to reflect the increased cost in election competition as the limits had not been revised since the enactment of the Act in 1954.

        The amendment included the following: • Election to the House of Representative (Parliament) from RM100,000 (USD 31,746) to RM200,000 (USD 63,492). • Election to the State Legislative Assembly from RM50,000 (USD 15,873) to RM100,000 (USD 31,476). The amendments were made to ensure a better reflection of the actual cost of election campaigns and to facilitate higher level of transparency in public disclosure of such information.

        The interviewees, especially individual candidates, highlighted their concern on the adequacy of the expenditure limit to encourage transparent and accurate reporting. Two incidents were quoted: 1. Election Commission officers rejected an election expenses return submitted by a current Member of Parliament on the basis that the amount of donation received does not equate with his expenditure. The MP was then advised to “adjust” the election expenses declaration to show that his expenditure equates to contributions received. As the MP puts it, the declaration is for formality and lacks substance. This showed that there was no genuine intention in promoting accurate declaration.

        1. A former deputy federal minister admitted in the interview that his actual expenditure was RM750,000 (USD 238,095), which was about 300% over the allowed expenditure limit. This figure did not take into consideration the expenses incurred by his political party on his behalf. However, the expenses declared to the Election Commission were within the RM200,000 (USD 63,492) threshold. He strongly criticised the limit for not being able to catch up with the actual cost of election expenses and the rising of cost of living. This resulted in under declaration by almost all candidates.
        Scoring Criteria

        Please list and describe all documented instances of: 1) political finance reforms, including bills passed, executive orders signed, court rulings and any other legal act that had a direct effect on existent political finance regulation, and 2) all legal reform attempts presented to the legislature even if they were not approved. Please describe the political context that produced the reforms or reform attempts.

        Sources
        1. Interview with Maria Chin Abdullah, Chairperson, Bersih 2.0. 2 August 2014.
        2. Interview with Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament, 5 August 2014.
        3. Interview with Saifuddin Abdullah, Former Deputy Higher Education Minister, 6 August 2014.
        4. Interview with Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, former Deputy Chairman of Election Commission, 17 Aug 2014.
        5. Election Offences Act 1954, Amendment Act A1177, 16 January 2003.
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    Third Party Actors

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      Applicability of the Law to Third-Party Actors
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        NO
        In law, third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority and the information is made publicly available.More about indicator

        Third party actors do not report any information directly to an electoral authority.

        Like any other registered societies in Malaysia, third party actors are required to submit annual financial returns to the Registrar of Societies. However, only subscribers or persons that have interest in the organisation (members) can request for a copy of financial report. Clause 29 of Societies Act 1966 reads that:

        "Every registered society shall supply free of charge to every member or subscriber or person having an interest in its funds on his application either— (a) a copy of the last annual return of the society; or (b) a balance sheet or other document duly audited containing the same particulars as to the receipt and expenditure, funds and effects of the society as are contained in the annual return."

        Third party actors, if officially registered as a society or as a company - some NGOs function as companies - need not submit itemized financial information. A company, however, is required to submit far more information in its annual accounts (to the Companies Commision of Malaysia (CCM), a government agency under the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives & Consumerism) than an NGO (to the Registrar of Societies, under the Home Affairs Ministry). Such information to the CCM includes a report of its main activities during the year, a list of its shareholders and directors, and a profit & loss account as well as a balance sheet. The financial statements of both NGOs and companies must be audited by an independent person for societies and a recognized auditor for companies.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) third-party actors are required to report to the oversight authority itemized contributions received and expenditures related to their support of electoral campaigns, and 2) the information must be publicly available.

        A MODERATE score is earned where third-party actors are required to report itemized contributions received and expenditures related to their support of electoral campaigns, but the information is not required to be publicly available. A MODERATE score is also earned where regulations exist, but only apply to electoral campaigns of one actor (whether political party or individual candidate).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Societies Act, Clause 29, 1966 www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%207/Act%20335.pdf

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        In practice, to what extent do third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority?More about indicator

        Under the Societies Act 1966, all registered societies are required to submit audited financial reports on an annual basis. It was generally believed that the reports contain itemised financial information such as income and expenses statements, including independent political expenditures. This was confirmed through interviews with related personnel.

        However, a copy of the 2013 financial report submitted by one third party actor (see source 5), which adhered to the accounting standards issued by the Malaysian Accounting Standards Board, did not include itemized financial information. The researcher was unable to access other financial reports, as they're not publicly available, but based on the collected evidence and the standards of the Accounting Board, it's highly unlikely that any third party actors report itemized financial information.

        Further, interviewees pointed out that the accuracy of the reports is highly dependent on auditors employed by the societies to verify authenticity of the reports. In any case, registered societies do not report to the electoral authority.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. As mentioned above, the Malaysian Accounting Standards Board (MASB) sets out the guidelines for financial reporting which are consistent with international best practices, with allowances made for the Malaysian context. While it is difficult to secure access to the annual reports filed by parties and NGOs, what is clear is that these guidelines are followed. The level of disclosure required, paricularly in terms of sourses of their funding, is minimal. The names of donors, for example, are not disclosed. For a detailed profile of the MASB and its functions, see: www.masb.org.my

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where all third-party actors report to an oversight authority both itemized contributions received and itemized expenditures.

        A 50 score is earned where third-party actors report to an oversight authority either itemized contributions received or expenditures, but not both. A 50 score is also earned where the reports refer only to one type of third-party actor, but do not cover others.

        A 0 score is earned where third-party actors rarely or never report itemized contributions received or expenditures.

        Sources
        1. Interview with Maria Chin Abdullah, Chairperson, Bersih 2.0. 2 August 2014.
        2. Interview with Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament, 5 August 2014.
        3. Interview with Saifuddin Abdullah, Former Deputy Higher Education Minister, 6 August 2014.
        4. Email interview with Kuek Ser Kuang Keng. Former journalist. Malaysiakini. 20 August 2014.
        5. Transparency International Malaysia, Reports and Financial Statements, 13 December 2013.
          http://transparency.org.my/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/TI-Malaysia-Signed-Audited-report-2013.pdf
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        0
        In practice, to what extent can journalists and citizens easily access the financial information of third party actors, including the political spending of those actors in support of political parties and individual candidates?More about indicator

        Similar to political parties, third party actors are required to submit annual audited financial reports to the Registrar of Societies. However, these reports are only accessible by members.

        In the case of Malaysia, a mysterious NGO named 1Malaysia Penang-Welfare Club became very active prior and during the last general election. The NGO was giving goodies and cash handouts to the public and welfare bodies. Journalists attempted to obtain information regarding the funding of this body, but only limited information was released. This information was published in a Malaysiakini article listed in the list of sources (source no1). The article made indirect reference to Low, Taek Jho, an individual closely linked with the wife of current Prime Minister. Low was also accused as a major recipient of political patronage due to his political connections.

        The researcher tried obtaining information about 1Malaysia Club via Maria Chin Abdullah (chairperson of Bersih 2.0). According to her source, the Club "disappeared" after the last election and is no longer functioning. Their office in Penang is currently occupied by a trading company. Therefore, the researcher failed to establish contact with 1Malaysia Club.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) all relevant financial information is freely available online or in hard copy at the cost of photocopying, 2) it can be obtained within two days of requesting it, and 3) it is in a machine readable format (for example in csv or xml format).

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) information is available but in some cases is incomplete or lacking detail, 2) obtaining complete information takes up to a month, or 3) it's not necessarily in machine readable format.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the information is not publicly available, or 2) obtaining it takes more than three months, or 3) the cost of obtaining it is prohibitive for the regular citizen.

        Sources
        1. What is the ‘1Malaysia-Penang Welfare Club?' GH Kok. Malaysiakini. 16 April 2013. http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/226975
        2. Interview with Maria Chin Abdullah, Chairperson, Bersih 2.0. 2 August 2014.
        3. Interview with Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament, 5 August 2014.
        4. Interview with Saifuddin Abdullah, Former Deputy Higher Education Minister, 6 August 2014.
        5. Email interview with Kuek Ser Kuang Keng. Former journalist. Malaysiakini. 20 August 2014.
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        Open Question: Please describe how third party-actors (even if they are not regulated by your country's laws) obtain contributions and spend in support of political parties and/or individual candidates.More about indicator

        Incidents of third party-actors procuring votes on behalf of political parties were rarely reported in the media, despite the general belief that they were widely used to influence campaigns. There are two reasons behind this: 1. third party actors often procure votes on a small scale and in secrecy. 2. the government has tight control over the media through direct and indirect ownership, as well as the draconian laws.

        However, in the last general election, there were reports of a mysterious NGO named 1Malaysia Penang-Welfare Club. The NGO operated actively during last elections, and was giving goodies and cash handouts to the public and welfare bodies on a large scale. It carried the name of a slogan created by the ruling coalition to enhance national unity. Sources believe that the NGO was canvassing votes for the ruling coalition in Penang, a stronghold of the opposition coalition. Although the NGO spent a lot in Penang, their expenditure had little impact on the election results as the ruling coalition was defeated convincingly.

        However, it is not clear how third party-actors obtain their contributions. The interviewees (including current and former members of parliament) also concurred unanimously that their sources of funding are highly secretive. Although some media reports linked the NGO with individuals related to ruling coalition, the accuracy of these reports cannot be definitively ascertained.

        On the other hand, an interesting incident was shared by a former member of parliament. In the last election, an individual approached him and offered to give a vast donation for his campaign. However, the individual wished to donate using his company’s account, but his company policy prohibits him from making direct political contributions. Hence, he requested that the former member of parliament provide an account of an NGO for him to make the donation, and in turn the NGO would spend on behalf of the candidate. According to the former member of parliament, it was a common phenomenon used by the candidates to source for funding.


        Peer reviewer comment: I agree with the assessment here by the principal investigator. Third party actors of particular importance are businesspeople, well-endowed with funds, much of which was obtained from their access to government-generated concessions, including through privatization. These businesspeople are known to organize functions such as free dinners, charity concerts and lottery draws, at their own expense, during the election campaign period, using these occasions to lobby support for particular parties. In the state of Penang, for example, one prominent businessman, Jho Low, who is closely associated with the family of Prime Minister Najib Razak, had to publicly deny that he supported the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, through an NGO called 1Malaysia Welfare Club, through the hosting of a charity concert (The Star, 9 April 2013). And, as the prinicpal invesitgator pointed out, in spite of the large amount of funds that were used by third aprty actors to help mount support for the Barisan Nasional, they were not able to influence the electorare as the opposition secured a major victory in this state, in contests in both parliamentary and state constituencies. There was hardly any in-depth reports of such third party funding of parties during the campaign period. This is due to the extremely covert nature of such funding by third parties to politicians or parties.

        Scoring Criteria

        To answer this question please: 1) list the types of third-party actors that exist in your country and describe how they work to influence campaigns, 2) explain how important such actors are or not in the context of campaigns, including whether their expenditures are substantial in relation to that of political parties and individual candidates, and 3) if documented evidence indicates they circumvent laws intended to regulate political finance, please explain how and include references to the evidence.

        Sources
        1. Interview with Maria Chin Abdullah, Chairperson, Bersih 2.0. 2 August 2014.
        2. Interview with Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament, 5 August 2014.
        3. Interview with Saifuddin Abdullah, Former Deputy Higher Education Minister, 6 August 2014.
        4. What is the ‘1Malaysia-Penang Welfare Club’?. GH Kok. Malaysiakini. 16 April 2013. http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/226975
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    Monitoring and Enforcement

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      Monitoring Capabilities
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        MODERATE
        In law, political finance information is monitored by an independent oversight authority.More about indicator

        Malaysian laws do not provide investigative power to the Election Commission. This was confirmed by the former Deputy Chair of the Election Commission. From the legal perspective, the EC was empowered insofar to monitor elections returns (income and expenditure) during the official campaign period. Clause 23 (1) of the Election Offences Act 1954 reads that:

        "Within thirty-one days after the date of publication of the result of an election in the Gazette every candidate at that election or his election agent shall deposit with the State Elections Officer a true return, in this Act referred to as the “return respecting election expenses,” in Form B in the First Schedule, containing detailed statements as respects that candidate of— (a) (Deleted by Act A5); (b) (Deleted by Act A5); (c) the disputed claims so far as the candidate or his election agent is aware; (d) all unpaid claims, if any, of which the candidate or his election agent is aware in respect of which application has been made or is about to be made to an Election Judge or Judge of the High Court; (e) all money, securities and other valuable consideration received by or promised to the candidate or his election agent from or by any other candidate or person for the purpose of expenses incurred or to be incurred on account or in respect of the management of the election, naming every person from whom the sum may have been received or by whom such sum may have been promised, showing as to each sum whether it was received as contribution, loan, deposit or otherwise; (f) the amount of expenses, if any, incurred by any person authorized by the candidate or his election agent under subsection 15A(1)."

        On the other hand, Registrar of Societies (ROS) was empowered by Clause 14 (1) of the Societies Act to monitor financial information of societies registered with them, including political parties. The Clause reads that:

        "Every registered society shall, within sixty days after the holding of its annual general meeting or if no annual general meting is held, within sixty days after the end of each calendar year, forward to the Registrar - (d) the accounts of the last financial year of the society together with a balance sheet showing the financial position at the close of the last financial year of the society." Clause 14 (2) of the same Act also endows ROS with investigatory power. Clause 14 (2) and (4) reads that: "(2) The Registrar may, at any time by notice under his hand, order any registered society to furnish him in writing with - (d) duly audited accounts (e) such other information as the Registrar may from time to time require. (4) For the purpose of this section 'duly audited' means audited by an auditor approved by the registrar, who may give such approval generally or for any particular audit; and the auditor so approved shall make a report on the accounts examined by him in such form as the the Registrar may require."

        The RSO, like the EC, has no investigative powers.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) an independent oversight authority is mandated to monitor political finance information, and 2) the authority has investigation and audit powers.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the independent oversight authority is mandated to monitor political finance information, but doesn't have investigation or audit powers.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Societies Act, Clause 6, 1966 www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%207/Act%20335.pdf

        Election Offences Act, Clause 23, 1954 www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%201/Act%205.pdf

        Interview with Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, former Deputy Chairman of Election Commission, 17 Aug 2014.

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        NO
        In law, high-level appointments to the oversight authority are based on merit.More about indicator

        Members of the Election Commission (which oversees the conduct of elections) are appointed by the King who acts under the advice of the Prime Minister under Article 40 of the Malaysian Federal Constitution. No law mandates a public consultation or competition (election) for the position.

        On the other hand, Registrar of Societies (who oversees the conduct of political parties) is an executive position. The appointment is done as per standard procedure for appointment of civil servants. No law mandates a public consultation or competition (election) for the position.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) high-level appointments must be based on merit in a public appointment process; and 2) appointees must be free of conflicts of interest due to personal loyalties, family connections, political party affiliations, business partners or other biases.

        A MODERATE score is earned where high-level appointments must be based on merit in a public appointment process, but the regulations don't forbid appointments involving conflicts of interest or other biases.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Malaysian Federal Constitution, Article 40, 2010 https://www.dropbox.com/s/sof0gu4275nx1ne/Federal%20Constitution.pdf?dl=0

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        0
        In practice, to what extent are high-level appointments to the oversight authority based on merit?More about indicator

        In practice, appointments to the Electoral Commission and the Registrar of Societies were used strategically by the incumbent to ensure their interests are being protected.

        It was noted that members of the Election Commission were recommended by the Prime Minister, whom he “personally knows and believes can be relied upon to be responsive to his wishes and the interests of his party” (Lim, 2005). Traditionally, Election Commissioners were appointed from the civil service (existing or retired civil servants), which ensured that the Election Commission observes civil servant mentality and remains subservient to the ruling coalition. This point was confirmed through various interviews with politicians and NGO.

        In addition to that, a shocking discovery was made in 2012 which revealed that the Chairman of Election Commission was a member of a main party in the ruling coalition. However, he stressed that he was an inactive members of the party, having not paid any party subscriptions or attended any party meetings. Being an inactive party membership, it did not affect his ability to carry out professional duties which requires highest level of impartiality. The discovery, however, revealed the existence of serious conflicts of interests.

        On the other hand, the Registrar of Societies is a department under the Home Ministry; hence, its appointment is an executive decision where there was no public competition. Impartiality and non-partisanship were not of key importance when considering high-level appointments to this position.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) there is an advertised competition and public vetting process, 2) candidates with the most merit and without conflicts of interest or other biases are appointed.

        A 50 score is earned where the public competition is usually advertised and the vetting process public, but exceptions exist. A 50 score is also earned where candidates with the most merit and without conflicts of interest or other biases are appointed but exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where there's rarely or never a public competition, or appointees are rarely selected on merit or without conflicts of interest or other biases.

        Sources
        1. Interview with Maria Chin Abdullah, Chairperson, Bersih 2.0. 2 August 2014.
        2. Interview with Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament, 5 August 2014.
        3. Interview with Saifuddin Abdullah, Former Deputy Higher Education Minister, 6 August 2014.
        4. Interview with Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, former Deputy Chairman of Election Commission, 17 Aug 2014.
        5. EC chief, deputy admit they ‘could have been’ UMNO members. Shazwan Mustafa Kamal. The Malaysian Insider. 27 April 2012. http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/ec-chief-deputy-admit-they-could-have-been-umno-members
        6. EC-Umno ties: Ambiga shocked. TaraniPalani. Free Malaysia Today. 27 April 2012. http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2012/04/27/ec-umno-ties-ambiga-shocked/
        7. Lim, Hong Hai. 2005. ‘Making the system work: the Election Commission’, in Mavis Puthucheary and Norani Othman, Elections and Democracy in Malaysia, Bangi: Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Press.
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        MODERATE
        In law, the independence of high-level appointees is guaranteed.More about indicator

        The independence of Members of the Election Commission is protected by the Federal Constitution. Article 114 of the Federal Constitution does not provide a fixed tenure to the appointment of Election Commissioners. The Commissioners shall not be removed from office except on the like grounds and in the like manner as a judge of the Federal Court. However, they must retire from the office as soon as they reach the age of 66. Under the same Article, "the remuneration and other terms of office of a member of the Election Commission shall not be altered to his disadvantage after his appointment."

        Under the Constitution, Election Commission is empowered to review cases and issue decisions in their capacity as the election management body. Their key roles are (Article 113 - 120 of the Federal Constitution): (1) To review the electoral division of the country into Parliament and State constituencies periodically at intervals of not less than eight years and recommend such reviews and changes to Parliament for approval. (2) To prepare and revise Electoral Rolls for elections, i.e. Supplementary Rolls which is prepared quarterly - and the four quarters of Supplementary Roll will be added annually to the verified/updated Principle Roll to become a new updated Electoral Roll for (use in) elections (3) To conduct elections, both General Elections (when Parliament or State Legislative Assembly dissolves) and By-Elections when a casual vacancy occurs. In either case, the EC has to call for election to fill up the vacancy within sixty days of the seat falling vacant.

        On the other hand, Registrar of Societies is an executive position, hence, appointment, remuneration and removal of the Registrar is not protected in the Federal Constitution. However, the ROS is mandated by the Societies Act to register and oversee the proper functioning of a society. If the ROS determines that a society has violated any provision under the Societies Act, it has the authority to de-register this organization.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) appointees have the authority or mandate to review cases and issue decisions, 2) the law establishes security of tenure, and 3) removal or disciplinary actions are based on due process conducted by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A MODERATE score is earned where appointees have the authority or mandate to review cases and issue decisions, BUT one of the second two conditions mentioned in the YES criteria is not met.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Malaysian Federal Constitution, Article 114, 2010 https://www.dropbox.com/s/sof0gu4275nx1ne/Federal%20Constitution.pdf?dl=0

        Societies Act, 1966 www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%207/Act%20335.pdf

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        25
        In practice, to what extent is the independence of high-level appointees guaranteed?More about indicator

        On paper, the independence of high-level appointments (Election Commissioners) is protected by the Federal Constitution in two aspects, i.e. their remuneration and removal. The former Deputy Chairman of Election Commission agreed that this was the case. However, in practice, there was no guarantee of independence, as demonstrated by multiple examples.

        First, former Election Commission chairman openly admitted that previous delineation exercises were conducted in a manner to preserve political dominance of the ruling coalition. Elections boundaries were revised and drawn to favour the ruling coalition. And the EC actively supported these exercises at the behest of the governing party. (Note: Delineation exercise refers to the review and re-draw of election boundaries and seats.The last exercise was conducted in 2003 and Malaysia is currently under going a review exercise which was initiated in 2013).

        Second, one interviewee who shared the platform with the former deputy chairman of Election Commission claims that the deputy chairman was behaving like a civil servant while taking questions from the floor. The interviewee noted that the deputy chairman was defending the government by calling the Commission as an “election management body”. Being an election management body, this reduces the role of EC from being an independent oversight authority that enforces law, monitors and investigates violations to a mere management body that organises elections. According to the interviewee, this demonstrates that the EC is subject to fear and favor.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree - The independence of the EC is severely curtailed in practice. In a recent controversy, a former chairman of the EC, Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, confirmed that he had taken instructions from the Prime Minister about how to undertake a redelineation exercise. He had also claimed that redelineation exercises had been undertaken in a manner to maintain Malay power, meaning that extra weightage was given to rural, predominantly Malay, constituencies which also happen to be UMNO's main support base (see The Malaysian Insider 26 March 2014). This disclosure was shocking because Abdul Rashid had served first as secretary and then as chairman of the EC. He served this commission for such a long period that he had overseen the running of six out of 13 general elections and three out of four redelineation exercises (The Malaysian Insider 30 November 2013).

        As mentioned above, the independence of the ROS has been queried given that this office falls under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Home Affairs. The most cited example of the independence of the ROS is how this office deals with the registration of new parties. Those parties seeking registration which are known to be aligned with the ruling coalition are given approval to commence their activities without much delay. On the other hand, there have been long delays in the approval of parties linked with the opposition. For example, it took the opposition-based Parti Sosialis Malaysia (Socialist Party of Malaysia) ten years to obtain registration, in 2008, as a political party. The Malaysian Indian United Party was promptly registered, about five months after its leader had left the opposition-based PKR and voiced his support for the Barisan Nasional coalition. The case most often cited to indicate the lack of impartiality of the ROS is the registration of the opposition coalition, the Pakatan Rakyat. The registration of Pakatan Rakyat has yet to be approved by the ROS, although this tripartite coalition was forged in 2008. In 2014, five years after an application had been submitted to the ROS, opposition members publicly voiced their concern that this government agency had still withheld the registration of Pakatan Rakyat (The Sun 18 February 2014).

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where all of the following conditions are met: 1) appointees review cases and issue decisions without fear or favor from other branches of government, and 2) appointees are granted security of tenure and 3) no appointees are removed, disciplined or transferred without due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A 50 score is earned where any of the following conditions apply: 1) appointees generally operate without fear or favor from other branches of government but exceptions exist, or 2) some but not all appointees are granted security of tenure, or 3) appointees are occasionally removed, disciplined or transferred without due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A 0 score is earned where at least one of the following conditions apply: 1) appointees operate with fear or favor from other branches of government, or 2) are not granted security of tenure, or 3) are usually removed, disciplined or transferred without observing due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        Sources
        1. Interview with Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament, 5 August 2014.
        2. Interview with Saifuddin Abdullah, Former Deputy Higher Education Minister, 6 August 2014.
        3. Interview with Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, former Deputy Chairman of Election Commission, 17 Aug 2014.
        4. “Electoral Politics in Malaysia: ‘Managing’ Elections in a Plural Society” in Electoral Politics in Southeast and East Asia. Lim Hong Hai. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. 2002.
        5. Ex-EC head joins Perkasa to boost Malay power. Boo Su-Lyn. The Malay Mail. 25 November 2013. http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/ex-ec-head-joins-perkasa-to-boost-malay-power
        6. UMNO’s Saifuddin calls for removal of polls chief. Eileen Ng. The Malaysian Insider. 14 January 2014. http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/umnos-saifuddin-calls-for-removal-of-polls-chief
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        Open Question: How does decision-making work in the oversight authority?More about indicator

        On paper, provisions were made in the Malaysian legislation to ensure that the Election Commission makes decisions in a transparent and independent manner. When the Commission was formed in 1957, there were three members who were not members of political parties at the time of their appointment.

        However, following a dispute during the 1960 delineation exercise, the ruling coalition made partisan appointments (members of political parties in the ruling coalition) over objections of the Election Commission. Subsequent replacements of Election Commission members were mainly recruited from retired civil servants. This trend ensured that the Election Commission observes civil servant mentality and remains subservient to the ruling coalition. This point was confirmed through various interviews with politicians and NGO.

        On the other hand, the former deputy chairman of Election Commission stressed that since the formation of the Commission, Commission members were always allowed to make independent decisions without interference from the politicians. EC is empowered under the Federal Constitution (Article 113 - 120) to carry out the following functions: (1) To review the electoral division of the country into Parliament and State constituencies periodically at intervals of not less than eight years (2) To prepare and revise Electoral Rolls for elections, (3) To conduct elections, both General Elections (when Parliament or State Legislative Assembly dissolves) and By-Elections when a casual vacancy occurs.

        By law, the EC is free to make independent decisions. All decision-making must be approved by simple majority among the 5 commissioners. In addition to that, should the EC feels there is a need to enact and amend election regulations or legislation, these proposals must be reviewed by government

        Even though all proposals to amend election regulations or legislation must go through the government, he did not see it as a form of interference. He sees the process as a manifestation of check-and-balance by the government to ensure all proposals made by Election Commission are necessary and viable.

        Nevertheless, one worrying example was highlighted in the media recently. Gerrymandering has always been a grave concern in Malaysia electoral system. Numerous allegations were made and pointed to the non-independence of the Commission. Gerrymandering was confirmed by an open admission by a former Election Commission chairman that previous delineation exercises were conducted in a manner to preserve political dominance of the ruling coalition.

        On the other hand, Registrar of Societies is an agency under the Home Ministry. Its decision-making process is under the purview of the Home Ministry, which impedes its independence and impartiality. For instance, prior to the general election 2013, the opposition coalition registered with the Registrar of Societies to compete under a common banner, similar to the ruling coalition. The registration process began in 2009, but their application has yet to be approved.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe: 1) the composition of the decision-making body within the oversight authority, 2) the type of decisions it's allowed to make and makes in practice, and 3) in which cases majority is required. If there have been well substantiated complaints about the decision-making process being ineffective or politicized please explain.

        Sources
        1. Interview with Maria Chin Abdullah, Chairperson, Bersih 2.0. 2 August 2014.
        2. Interview with Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament, 5 August 2014.
        3. Interview with Saifuddin Abdullah, Former Deputy Higher Education Minister, 6 August 2014.
        4. Interview with Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, former Deputy Chairman of Election Commission, 17 Aug 2014.
        5. Ex-EC head joins Perkasa to boost Malay power. Boo Su-Lyn. The Malay Mail. 25 November 2013. http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/ex-ec-head-joins-perkasa-to-boost-malay-power
        6. Why approve secret societies and not Pakatan Rakyat, PKR asks RoS. Syed JaymalZahid. Malay Mail. 3 September 2013. http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/why-approve-secret-societies-and-not-pakatan-rakyat-pkr-asks-ros
        7. “Electoral Politics in Malaysia: ‘Managing’ Elections in a Plural Society” in Electoral Politics in Southeast and East Asia. Lim Hong Hai. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. 2002.
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        In practice, to what extent does the authority have sufficient capacity to monitor political finance regulations?More about indicator

        The Election Commission does not have sufficient capacity to monitor compliance to political finance regulations as they are not empowered with investigative power to carry independent investigations and audits. The former Deputy Chairman of Election Commission admitted during the interview that the EC does not have the financial and human resources to monitor all incoming reports. They accept the reports in good faith and publish them for public viewing. In other terms, EC relies on civil monitoring of political financing.

        Further, the Election Commission and Registrar of Societies do not have an independent recruitment mechanism. All permanent staff are recruited through the Public Service Department, who is also responsible for recruitment for other government agencies. During non-election periods, Election Commission retains a core team of permanent officers for administrative purposes. When there is a need for conducting elections, such as general elections or by-elections, Election Commission mobilises civil servants such as district officers and teachers to be part time election officers. As such, they are not fully trained to be capable of monitoring political finance regulations.

        Meanwhile, the Election Commission and Registrar of Societies do not have independent budgeting. Election Commission was listed as one of the agencies under the Prime Minister’s Department. Naturally, its budget came from the Prime Minister’s Department. This organisation structure puts the Commission’s independence and capacity to act independently in a serious doubt. On the other hand, Registrar of Societies is a society under the Home Ministry. Its budget came from the Home Ministry.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) the authority has sufficient budget to monitor all incoming reports, and 2) it has sufficient staff to review all incoming reports.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the authority has insufficient budget to monitor all incoming reports, or 2) its staff can only review half of all incoming reports.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the authority can't fulfill most of its essential functions due to budget constraints, or 2) its staff only has the capacity to review 25% or less of all incoming reports.

        Sources
        1. Election Commission failed in duty to conduct free and fair polls, lead counsel tells Bersih tribunal, V. Anbalagan, The Malaysian Insider, 27 September 2013. http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/ec-failed-in-duty-to-conduct-free-and-fair-polls-lead-counsel-tells-bersih
        2. Interview with Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament, 5 August 2014.
        3. Interview with Saifuddin Abdullah, Former Deputy Higher Education Minister, 6 August 2014.
        4. Interview with Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, former Deputy Chairman of Election Commission, 17 Aug 2014.
        5. The case for decentralisation. ZairilKhir Johari. The Malaysian Insider. 5 December 2012. http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/opinion/zairil-khir-johari/article/the-case-for-decentralisation
        6. The Election Commission is listed as one of the agencies under the Prime Minister’s Department. http://www.pmo.gov.my/?menu=page&page=1670
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        In practice, to what extent does the authority conduct investigations or audits when necessary?More about indicator

        Malaysian legislation does not provide investigative power to the Election Commission. An amendment was made in 2003 to set up an enforcement team comprising Election Commission Officer (team leader) and representatives appointed by a political candidate. The main tasks of this team are to patrol and monitor activities of the candidates including appropriateness of campaign material, open campaigns and public address. There was no explicit mention of the role of the enforcement team to monitor and regulate political financing. Through interviews with individuals who took part in the elections, it was believed that the enforcement team does not conduct investigations or audits on political financing.

        When there is a complaint lodged against violation of election regulations, Election Commission officers will hand over the complaints to the police to carry out investigations or audits. This was confirmed by interviewees.

        An example was cited by a member of parliament. Election Commission officers rejected his election expenses return on the basis that the amount of donation received does not equate with his expenditure. The MP was then advised to “adjust” the election expenses declaration to show that his expenditure equates to contributions received. As the MP puts it, the declaration is for formality and lacks substance, and shows the Commission's aversion to conducting investigations.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where the authority conducted at least three investigations or audits during the most recent electoral campaign.

        A 50 score is earned where the authority conducted at least one investigation or audit during the most recent electoral campaign.

        A 0 score is earned where the authority didn't conduct any investigation or audit during the most recent electoral campaign.

        Sources
        1. Election Commission failed in duty to conduct free and fair polls, lead counsel tells Bersih tribunal, V. Anbalagan, The Malaysian Insider, 27 September 2013. http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/ec-failed-in-duty-to-conduct-free-and-fair-polls-lead-counsel-tells-bersih
        2. Interview with Maria Chin Abdullah, Chairperson, Bersih 2.0. 2 August 2014.
        3. Interview with Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament, 5 August 2014.
        4. Interview with Saifuddin Abdullah, Former Deputy Higher Education Minister, 6 August 2014.
        5. Interview with Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, former Deputy Chairman of Election Commission, 17 Aug 2014.
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        In practice, to what extent does the authority publish the results of investigations or audits?More about indicator

        Malaysian legislation does not grant investigative power to the Election Commission. All complaints lodged against violations of election regulations are handed over to the police to carry out investigations. The authority does not publish the results of investigations or audits on any platforms. This was confirmed by interviews with interviewees and the researcher’s effort in locating such reports.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where the authority publishes reports of all its investigations or audits a month or less after their conclusion.

        A 50 score is earned where reports are available to the public more than a month after the conclusion of the investigation or audit.

        A 0 score is earned where reports are not available to the public or they become available after six months or more after conclusion of the investigation or audit. A 0 score is also earned where only summaries of the reports are publicly available.

        Sources
        1. Interview with Maria Chin Abdullah, Chairperson, Bersih 2.0. 2 August 2014.
        2. Interview with Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament, 5 August 2014.
        3. Interview with Saifuddin Abdullah, Former Deputy Higher Education Minister, 6 August 2014.
        4. Interview with Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, former Deputy Chairman of Election Commission, 17 Aug 2014
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      Enforcement Capabilities
      More about category
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        YES
        In law, there are sanctions in response to political finance violations.More about indicator

        Under the Societies Act 1966, individuals shall be liable, on conviction, to: - a fine of not exceeding RM5,000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months or to both for fraud, false declaration and misappropriation. - a fine not exceeding RM2,000 for furnishing false information.

        The agents of societies that fail to comply with orders from the Registrar of Societies, which includes compliance with reporting requirements, may be punished with jail time or with a fine, or both.

        On the other hand, under the Election Offences Act 1954, individuals who were convicted of corrupt practices such as treating (Clause 8), undue influence (Clause 9), and bribery (Clause 10), shall be liable to: - a term of impresement not exceeding two years - a fine of not less than RM1,000 and not more than RM5,000 - incapable of being registered as an elector, vote in an election, being elected at any election or vacate his / her seat.

        The Elction Offences Act, in section 23, also sets forth penalties for failures to submit the required financial information.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) the law clearly defines violations of political finance laws, and 2) there are clearly defined sanctions for specific violations.

        A MODERATE score is earned where violations are clearly defined but sanctions for specific violations are not.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Societies Act, Clauses 13, 53, 54, 54A, 1966 www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%207/Act%20335.pdf

        Election Offences Act, Clauses 11, 15, 15A, 16, 19, 20, 23, 27, 1954 www.agc.gov.my/Akta/Vol.%201/Act%205.pdf

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        MODERATE
        In law, the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions.More about indicator

        The Registrar of Societies is empowered by Clause 3A of the Societies Act 1966 to impose sanctions on political parties that do not comply with the Act. Clause 3A of the Act reads that "... the Registrar shall have and may exercise all such powers, discharge all such duties and perform all such functions as may be necessary for the purpose of giving effect to and carriyng out the provisions of this Act."

        The Election Commission, however, is not empowered to impose sanctions unilaterally. Clause 6 of the Election Offences Act 1954 states that all prosecution for an election offence "shall not be instituted without the sanction of the Public Prosecutor". The Public Prosecutor is attached to the Attorney General's Chambers, and takes order directly from the Attorney General, over whom the Election Commission does not have direct influence and control.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions, and 2) it can directly prosecute violators before the courts or is independent to send cases to public prosecution.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions, but it can't directly prosecute violators before the courts or is not independent to send cases to public prosecution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Societies Act, Clause 3A, 1966 https://www.dropbox.com/s/xzntyhn4lavq67w/Societies%20Act%201966.pdf?dl=0

        Election Offences Act, Clause 6, 1954 https://www.dropbox.com/s/2lgtefnxdkyl5ys/Election%20Offences%20Act%201954.pdf?dl=0

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        In practice, to what extent do offenders comply with sanctions imposed?More about indicator

        According to a parliamentary reply given to a Member of Parliament indicated that no prosecutions have ever been initiated against any individuals under the Election Offences Act 1954. This was also confirmed by the former Deputy Chairman of Election Commission. Hence, it is impossible to ascertain whether offenders comply with sanctions imposed by the oversight authority.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) offenders comply with the sanctions imposed without exception, and 2) they are not repeat offenders.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) offenders usually comply with the sanctions imposed but exceptions exist, or 2) most are not repeat offenders but some exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) offenders rarely comply with the sanctions imposed, or 2) most are repeat offenders.

        Sources
        1. Interview with Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament, 5 August 2014.
        2. Interview with Saifuddin Abdullah, Former Deputy Higher Education Minister, 6 August 2014.
        3. Interview with Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, former Deputy Chairman of Election Commission, 17 Aug 2014.
        4. Parliamentary Reply to Ong Kian Ming, current Member of Parliament for Serdang (Ong Kian Ming to provide the Reply after finding the document. He is currently in the midst of moving house)
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        Open Question: How strong is enforcement, and what impedes more effective enforcement?More about indicator

        Impartial enforcement of elections legislations is a grave concern in Malaysia. There are several factors that impede effective and impartial enforcement:

        • Absence of political will to reform the political finance regime. A Parliamentary Select Committee was set up in 2011 to study ways on improving conducts of elections. Transparency International – Malaysia presented to the Select Committee and submitted a memorandum for reforming political financing (see attached memorandum). The Report by the Select Committee included recommendations related to improving effective enforcement in the areas of political financing (see attached report). But to date, none of these recommendations (related to improving political finance regime or empowering the Election Commission) were implemented by the government. • Absence of an independent oversight authority. The independence and impartiality of the oversight authority, especially the Election Commission, has always been highlighted as one of the key reasons for an unfair electoral system in Malaysia. Partisan influence was seen infiltrating the Commission as early as the 1960s during disagreements between the Commission and ruling coalition over delineation exercises. Subsequent developments also demonstrated that gerrymandering was done in order to preserve the interest of the ruling coalition. • Absence of clearly defined and up-to-date law in regulating contributions and expenditure. These legislations were drafted in the 1950s’ and rarely updated. The weakness of these legislations are obvious in several areas: - Election Commission officers are not empowered to investigate or conduct an audit on complaints relating to political funding violations - Rigid and out out-of-date expenditure limit forces candidates to under-declare actual expenditure - Parties expenditure on behalf of candidates are not accounted for as part of campaign financing - Sources of funding are not regulated. The existing system does not impose contribution limits nor establish a list of permissible or impermissible donors to avoid individuals exerting overwhelming influence on electoral processes - Absence of a provision on establishing a caretaker government to prevent abuse of state resources. • Inability to recruit independently. At presence, Election Commission and Registrar of Societies do not have an independent recruitment mechanism. All permanent staff are recruited centrally through the Public Service Department. During election periods, the Election Commission will mobilise civil servants such as district officers and teachers to be part time election officers. As such, they are not fully trained to be capable of monitoring political finance regulations.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please provide a general explanation of the effectiveness of enforcement, describing: 1) any conditions that may prevent effective enforcement, and 2) explain what are the most urgent areas of reform in the country's political finance system.

        Sources
        1. Interview with Maria Chin Abdullah, Chairperson, Bersih 2.0. 2 August 2014
        2. Interview with Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament, 5 August 2014.
        3. Interview with Saifuddin Abdullah, Former Deputy Higher Education Minister, 6 August 2014.
        4. Interview with Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, former Deputy Chairman of Election Commission, 17 Aug 2014.
        5. Memorandum to Reform Political Financing in Malaysia. Transparency International. Submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office on 5 May 2011.
        6. Report of Special Select Committee on Electoral Reforms. Presented to the Parliament on 3 April 2012.

Malaysia is a country with a constitutional monarch parliamentary system based on the Bristih Westminster model. Malaysia has a constitutional monarch as the head of state - the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, or King - who has a largely ceremonial role. The King is elected to a five-year term from among nine hereditary rulers of the Malay states. The other four states, which have Governors, do not participate in the selection process.

Based on the Constitution, Malaysia has a bicameral legislature that consists of a House of Representatives (Dewan Rakyat) and a Senate (Dewan Negara). Members of the Dewan Rakyat (also commonly known as Members of Parliament, MPs) are elected directly through general elections, which are held not more than every five years. The MPs are elected in single member constituencies on the basis of first-past-the-post voting. The last General Elections were conducted in 2013. There are currently 222 seats in the Dewan Rakyat, but the Election Commission is due to conduct redelineation of countries and increases the number of seats in the Parliament. The last redelineation exercise was last conducted in 2003. Article 113 2 (ii) of the Federal Constitution stipulates that the exercise must be conducted once every eight years. (Note: the most recent redelineation exercise expired in 2011 but the Electoral Commission decided to start the review officially after the General Elections in 2013)

The Senate is currently comprised of 70 senators and they are not directly elected. Rather, they're appointed to three year terms by the King under the advice of Prime Minister. The Senate includes two representatives from each state, appointed by respective state legislatures (except for Kuala Lumpur whose Senators were appointed by the King), and the the remaining 44 senators are appointed by the King.

Malaysia is a federation system which consists of 13 states and three Federal Territories. Each state has a unicameral State Legislative Assembly whose members are elected, like MPs, to terms of not more than five states.

The Constitution provides that a Cabinet is to be formed and led by the Prime Minister (PM), who is the Head of Government. The PM is appointed by the King from a member of the House of Representatives, who in His Majesty's judgement is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the House. The Cabinet, consisting of a council of ministers (who can be selected from members of eitehr house of parliament) will become the executive branch of the government and is accountable to the Parliament.