BY RAMON NAVARATNAM
Most Malaysians are wondering why the chairperson of the National Consultative Committee on Political Financing (NCCPF), YB Paul Low, and his able committee members have casually recommended the removal of the cap on funding and spending during future election campaigns?
Is it their purpose to promote and expand money politics, instead of controlling this somewhat callous and corrupting bad electoral practice?
Does this new election recommendation help to promote ‘state capture’, where the rich and powerful will be able to provide limitless political funding, that is even tax free, to elect favoured candidates of the rich and to keep them in power ad infinitum or, forever and ever, as the old song goes?
YB Paul Low succeeded me as the former president of Transparency International-Malaysia and so he would definitely know that we were all opposed to likely and real abuses that usually occur in election campaign financing.
The election abuses and the resultant rot get to be excessive and intolerable, particularly when there are no limits whatsoever on election funding and expenditures. This is where we could go wild in our financing elections if there is a no cap policy on election campaign expenditures.
Presently, there are clear cut limits on campaign spending of RM200,000 for federal elections and RM100,000 for state elections, for each election candidate.
Now YB Paul Low and his merry Committee have happily recommended that the sky is the limit for campaign election fund raising and spending. Furthermore, contributors to political funding can also enjoy tax exemption. Good grief, now please explain to us simple voters – what has happened to the well-tried principles of good governance? Read more
Source: The Malay Mail Online
Bersih 2.0 chair Maria Chin said its Pemantau observers reported seven types of offences that took place repeatedly throughout the 12-day campaigning period during last week’s Sarawak polls.― File pic
MMO file pic
PETALING JAYA, May 13 ― Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 is considering legal options to compel the Election Commission (EC) to act on multiple cases of alleged offences during last week’s Sarawak polls.
Bersih 2.0 chair Maria Chin said its Pemantau observers reported seven types of offences that took place repeatedly throughout the 12-day campaigning period, and a full report will be given to the EC within a month.
“We will do what we can. We will be bringing it to the attention of the parliamentarians, and the public and to shame the EC, that’s what we can do,” Chin told reporters here at the Bersih 2.0 office.
“We can only be a pressure group. We are looking into legal options, but bear in my mind we have lost most of our cases.”
The seven categories of offences that Pemantau reported are bribery, unauthorised expenses during campaigning, intimidation, providing free food and drinks at campaign events, campaigning on polling day, ferrying of voters to polling station, and use of government vehicles. Read more
Source: The Malay Mail Online
BY M KULA SEGARAN
MAY 14 — Polling for the Tamil Nadu (India) state election will be held on Mayth 16. The state election involves a total 234 constituencies and over over 70 million eligible voters.
YB A. Sivanesan, YB Kesawan, Segaran (DAP Ipoh Barat Chairman), VK Vembarasan (DAP Klang), Sdr. Rajalingam and Mohd. Arafat (PKR Tambun chief) and I have arrived in Chennai on May 6 to witness the election.
We toured the many areas in the state for the next 5 days to get an insight of the election without any assistance from the relevant authority. On May 12th and 13th, we were given briefings by the State Election Commissioner and his subordinates.
Thereafter we attended a 2 days briefing on the do’s and don’ts of the General State Elections at the Election Commissioner’s office of Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The head of Election Commission, Mr. Chandran Mohan and others briefed us and took questions from us. Read more
Source: FMT News
Election watchdog laments that repeat offences are going unpunished, as it releases preliminary report on the May 7 Sarawak State Election.
PETALING JAYA : Election watchdog Bersih 2.0 announced today that both the BN and the Opposition committed election offences in the recent Sarawak State Election.
Its chairman Maria Chin Abdullah and several committee members revealed that these were mainly repeat offences, such as bribery, intimidation and usage of government machinery. She lamented the inaction on the part of the Election Commission for years over such offences.
“What is worrying is that these (offences) are not new. It’s done in every election. Today, we are having election offences being repeated on a much larger scale. Yet the EC does not open its mouth or take action to stop these offences,” she told a press conference at the NGO’s headquarters.
Among the highlights of the Bersih report are cases of voting slips containing the BN logo found in various constituencies, including Telang Usan, Asajaya, Stakan, Kalaka, Tasik Biru and Batu Kitang. These slips, Bersih claims, were later exchanged for money. Read more
Source: The Malay Mail Online
KUALA LUMPUR, March 2 — Election laws dictate that the Election Commission (EC) has the power to compel candidates to disclose how much of their campaign funds came from their respective political parties, polls reform group Bersih 2.0 said.
Maria Chin Abdullah, the group’s chairman, said the election regulator cannot shirk its responsibilities by saying it only has power to monitor the campaign expenses of individual candidates.
“EC can’t say political parties’ expenses is not under their purview. Under S15-15A (of the Election Offences Act) when scrutinising the submission of accounts, EC can ask questions like what part of the expenses comes from political parties?” she told Malay Mail Online when contacted.
Chin was responding to EC chairman Datuk Seri Hashim Abdullah’s statement last week that investigating how much political parties spend during elections is beyond the commission’s purview and control. Read more