Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Electoral Bribery

At the Malaysia Strategic Outlook Conference 2012, organized by ASLI at the Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa, Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, a former federal minister from UMNO had spilled the beans on BN’s generous giving away of their stash of sweeteners He claimed on Tuesday that cash handouts ranging from RM200 to RM1,000 were doled out in BN’s previous election campaigns to blatantly buy votes, a tactic known as “bomb” (Webpage http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/ex-minister-claims-bn-bought-votes-with-cash, published January 17, 2012).

It came as no surprise! Malaysians already have public knowledge of this corrupt practice. But to hear it from the horse's mouth is really something. What we now have is an open confession! Even so, do you seriously think the Police, MACC, and others will investigate? Of course, not! And do you think the mainstream press will report this? Of course, not!

Monash University’s James Chin who also spoke at the forum after Abdul Kadir said that “bombing” was a very effective tool in Sabah and Sarawak. Yup, we saw this in the Sarawak state elections last year when funds were popularly disbursed to ensure BN won.

These acts of bribery are still continuing today. It’s not even elections yet, but Najib is already dishing out goodies: RM100 for school children, RM200 book vouchers for university and college students, RM500 for senior citizens, a ponzi investment scheme known as “Skim Amanah Rakyat 1Malaysia” or “Sara 1Malaysia” for the low income and others. And don’t forget, what the rakyat receives is peanuts compared to the millions that BNputras stole from the national coffers.

These freebies are all cleverly packaged to make Malaysians believe that the BN government is benevolent and caring – hence they came up with snazzy-sounding super campaigns like the Sentuhan Rakyat (People’s Touch) and BR1M (1Malaysia People’s Assistance) programs. Najib’s largesse has to reach every nook and corner of the country because the political scenario has markedly changed. This is unlike in the old days, where BN used to enjoy huge voter support and so they could afford to pick and choose who to grease the palm. And so, the cash would go into pockets found in the marginal seats. Today, Najib has to give to everybody because there are no safe seats! Even the so-called ‘safe deposits” in Sabah and Sarawak are not that safe anymore.

GE13 will likely see similar-type payoffs. For sure, money will be liberally dispensed. So the next time, BN gives you cold, hard cash – please take it but cross Pakatan in the ballot slip! That way, it is a win-win situation. As citizens, we will do Malaysia a big favor – we are helping to banish electoral fraud by throwing out BN!

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