Ex-rep gives Dr M a pat on the shoulder for mulling to fund political parties

Dominique Ng

KUCHING, Oct 6: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s suggestion yesterday that the government-of-the-day fund political parties has found support with former Padungan assemblyman Dominique Ng.

“It’s a good suggestion and should be put into action,” he said when contacted.

However, Ng suggested that the government go one step further by providing equal space and time for all political parties to say their piece on state-owned national television and radio network during election time.

Ng, who is a lawyer, pointed out that it was the practice of many western countries to allow equal chances to all political parties, big or small.

“Such a practice is happening, so that there is a chance for every political party, including the very small, unfunded and poor parties that have principles and idealism but who have no way to match the political might and mechanism of the dominant political parties.

“And that should also mean that equal space and time be allocated to all parties on state-owned national television and radio,” he opined.

Yesterday, Dr Mahathir said the federal government had yet to find a way for political parties to finance themselves without inviting elements of corruption and lobbying, as reported by The Star.

He, thus, sought public opinion on how this could be done in a clean manner. Dr Mahathir pointed out that there were suggestions to adopt Germany’s model, where the government funds political parties to avoid elements of corruption.

Ng said the statement by Dr Mahathir was an admission that all along a lot of money had been used to finance election campaigns, except that there was no official acknowledgement.

“This also happens in party elections. In fact, even for some parties within Pakatan Harapan (PH), money has been used to literally get votes. That was how the recent case of a political secretary allegedly bribing grassroots leaders came about.

“Such a practice is almost the standard procedure for most major political parties,” said Ng. — DayakDaily