Malaysia does not have any specific laws or regulations on political funding or campaign finance. This has raised concerns among many Malaysians and international communities. The Malaysian law prohibits vote-buying and regulates a few sections relates to campaign expenditures as follows:
Limits on campaign expenditure
Sect. 19. – the campaign expenditure is limited to;
(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;
(c) ten thousand ringgit in the case of an election to a local authority other than a local council;
(d) three thousand ringgit in the case of an election to a local council: Provided that paragraphs (c) and (d) shall have no application in Sabah and Sarawak.
Return and declaration respecting election expenses
Sect. 23 – Every candidate at the election or the election agent should deposit with the State Elections Officer a true return respecting election expenses within 31 days after the date of publication of the result of an election in the Gazette.
Publication of deposit of return
Sect. 24- When the State Elections Officer receives any return respecting election expenses and the statements, he/ she should make a notice of the date on which the return and statements are received and the time and place at which they can be inspected. The State Elections Officer should preserve all returns and statements with the bills and vouchers during six months for inspection. After 6 months, the documents may be destroyed or returned to the candidate.
Election campaign and limitation
Sect. 24B- a candidate or the election agent may hold election campaign during campaign period, open or establish or maintain offices in the constituency in which the candidate is contesting. The candidate may hold public meeting, public rally or public display and entertainment, or give public lecture in the constituency in which the candidate is contesting, however, the candidate must hold a permit from the police officer in charge of the district where the activities will be held.
A candidate or the election agent may display, furnish, or distribute election campaign materials in the constituency in which the candidate is contesting with permit from the State Elections Officer, and the candidate must pay the State Elections Officer a deposit of five thousand ringgit in the case of an election of the Dewan Rakyat and three thousand ringgit in the case of an election to a Legislative Assembly.
During the campaign period, the display of the campaign materials should be at least 50 meters away from the polling stations.
The campaign materials should be removed by a candidate or the election agent within 14 days after the polling day. If the candidate or election agent fails to do this, the deposit money will be forfeited. Then the State Elections Officers shall remove all materials within a reasonable time.
Among the 2002 amendments to the Elections Act 1958, an amendment allows the Election Commission (EC) to raise the ceiling of election deposits.
PDF : Political Campaign Planning Manual: A Step by Step Guide to Winning Elections (NDI: 2009)
Link : Party and Campaign Funding: Is Malaysia Already a Plutocracy? (Political Party Forum SEA: Nov 28, 2014)