It has been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Hence, The National Consultative Committee on Political Funding (JKNMPP) are out to examine and evaluate the best practices in political financing mechanisms at the international level which may be applicable for adoption in Malaysia as one of their terms of reference. JKNMPP has agreed in its first meeting that the systems in South Korea, Mexico, Canada, Taiwan and India should be studied for their relevancy in this country.
The JKNMPP Secretariat met with the Deputy Head of Mission of the Mexican Embassy in Malaysia, Madam Lourdes Sosa Marquez on 8 December 2015 to request the Embassy’s assistance for the Secretariat to study the political parties and election financing systems in Mexico.
The Mexican Embassy was very receptive to the ideas of JKNMPP looking into the Mexican political financing system which had gone through massive transformation since 1948. Madam Marquez pledged the Embassy’s assistance for JKNMPP to obtain information and expertise in the political parties and elections management from Mexico.
The Secretariat was informed that the National Electoral Institute (IFE) of Mexico, the regulatory body for political parties in Mexico has gone through various levels of transformation due to public demand. All changes were meant to enhance the democratic rights of their citizens are enhanced and protected.
On 11 December 2015, the JKNMPP Secretariat, headed by Dr Anis Yusal received a visit by Mr Timothy Mackey, Political Counsellor of the High Commission of Canada in Malaysia. Mr Mackey who had just recently commenced his tour of duty in Malaysia, expressed the Canadian High Commission’s excitement to provide the assistance to Malaysia in establishing some forms of regulatory and structures in political financing.
Canada had just completed its general election in November 2015 which saw a lot of changes in the election system as a result of public demands and was implemented through consultation between the government and its stakeholders. As both are Commonwealth countries, Malaysia share a lot of similarities in the administrative system with them. Therefore, Canada provides a good template in the political management system that we may consider as they have a more matured political culture.
Mr Mackey assured the JKNMPP team that the Canadian High Commission will help facilitate any communication between JKNMPP with any relevant parties in Canada, particularly the Commissioner of Canada Elections, a regulatory body for political parties.
Both diplomats understand the importance and the urgency of the work undertaken by JKNMPP and pledged their assistance to share their countries’ knowledge and experience in managing the political funding to enable Malaysia to have a more comprehensive and dynamic political financing management system.