KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 8, 2015:

The Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) and its founder Cynthia Gabriel were not invited to be a member of the Consultative Committee on Political Funding (JKNMPP), Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low clarified today.

In a statement today, Low said 16 of the 19 invited candidates had agreed to abide by all the ground rules and officially accepted their respective appointments immediately at the end of its inaugural meeting on Aug 28.

He added that two others who were abroad at the time accepted their appointments verbally by telephone.

“One candidate abstained and his name was duly removed from the list,” Low said without naming the candidate.

The minister had issued the statement to deny a report by the Malaysian Insider which claimed that a professor and an anti-graft watchdog had snubbed the recently formed government’s political funding panel.

The committee was launched to address the pressing need for reform in the area of political funding in the country.

“Its main objective is to bring the political funding activities of political parties and individual politicians under a proper regulatory framework of comprehensive policies and laws.

“They are made up of selected community leaders (including three youth leaders), civil society members, academicians and representatives of professional bodies.”

While the committee will have its ground rules to ensure its functionality, Low said some of the seven ground rules were that all members of the committee will be free to air their views and to contribute to the discussion during meetings.

“Issues discussed are not to be politicised but are to remain objective and constructive with the overarching motive of drawing up a political funding action plan that is comprehensive and inclusive.”

However, Low also highlighted that the committee will not conduct inquiries or investigations into national sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) or any other ongoing cases of public interest.

This he justified by saying that in the case of 1MDB, such investigations were already ongoing and conducted by various other institutions, enforcement agencies and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

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