Thursday, February 22, 2018

Money for Candidacy, Campaign Donation and Political Funding

No wind, yet the tree shake.

Two weeks ago, The Mole reported PPBM Information Chief, Dato Kamaruddin Md Nor denied rumours it is selling their candidacy.

The denial can only be expected as it is a preposterous suggestion for any decent political party to sell their candidacy to the highest bidder. It is in contravention to the party struggle, whatever it is and against the principle of representative democrasy.

Nevertheless, politicians are pragmatic people and the pursuit of power is not entirely rationale.

Buying candidacy

People do vote on sentiment and emotion thus making political narratives meant to please the voters five sense and deliver them the vote.

Such preposition is not impossible.

All the great ideas, strong arguments, good candidates, and perfect communication strategy and delivery boils down to money.

Without money, ceramah cannot be held, gift bags empty, and campaign centre cannot open. 

That rumour was real and was viraling on social media. It reads:
Siapa nak jadi calon PH di Kedah kena bayar. RM100K untuk calon AP dan RM50K tambahan untuk setiap DUN di bawah parlimen tersebut. 
Nak jadi Calon Perlimen Langkawi. Bakal calon kena bayar RM200K sebab di bawahnya ada 2 DUN Kuah dan Ayer Hangat. Manakala Bakal Calon Adun di kehendaki bayar RM50K . 
Jika Calon DUN berhasrat nak jadi MB kena bagi pendahuluan RM500K.
It sound absurd but a person approach to be candidate confirm such happening. The political party that approach the person was the President himself.

The President was darn serious. Off course, never trust any smooth talking politician.

He or she may offer the state MB post but when it comes down to the crunch, the final words one likely would hear, "I really wanted you but xxx disagreed. I can't do anything."

He or maybe she admitted their party have no money. The President could not afford to move around on wheels. However, the offer is not for Kedah.

Jeng jeng jeng .... trust me, the offer was real.

Discourage lobby 

It reminded us back to the days of Tun Dr Mahathir as UMNO President and Prime Minister. There were similar rumours.

It was Mahathir's ploy to discourage lobbying for candidacy.

Same excuse he used to say government has no money to discourage people asking government to fund projects. In the end, families, proxies and cronies still gets it.

Returning back to the rumour, the then UMNO President and Treasurer took the trouble to raise money for the party so people can't simply offer themselves as candidate.

The President and his men has people in mind. If you want it so hard, then cari duit sendiri. 

It is not a surprise that Mahathir is applying the same ploy to have his preferred men to run in Kedah and he alone will decide.


However, there is a twist.

Mahathir, Tan Sri Muhyiddin and Dato Mukhriz viral a video asking public to donate to PPBM campaign fund. It attract reaction from the BN side.

Everyone knows Mahathir & Sons and Daughter are super-rich and owners of hundreds of companies, contracts in hand worth in the billions via themselves, proxies and cronies, and owns assets estimated to be worth in the hundreds of billion, known and unkown.

It is rather odd and in poor taste for them to ask for donation. Moreover, he said BR1M is corruption and giving money to public buy votes. Now he is asking money from public.

There can only be several possible reasons:

One, it is a ploy and textbook political trick to size up ones support. It is widely used abroad especially in the US. Locally, DAP have been practising it for decades. Theoretically, the more the number of donation the more voters support and votes.

Logically, donation  of RM10-20 will need 100,000 to 50,000 deposits to make up to RM1 million. Just add on the zeros for RM10 till RM1 billion fund needed to run in 52 parliament seats and more state assembly seats.

Two, it is a ploy to stream pledges or stashed money or even utilise utilise ill-gotten gains accumulated. They would claim they do not know who bank in the money. It is a mean to launder money too.

Many more reasons but lets not bother.

Ill-gotten money

Just few days ago, former DAP Vice Chairman, Tun Abdul Aziz  claimed Mahathir will be making a visit to the US. The suspicion is he is going abroad to arrange the remittance of money stashed abroad.

The story of Mahathir's ill-gotten money stashed abroad have been making its rounds. It will be the stuff of legend. Give a number of years, and it will be similar to Marcos gold stashed during the Second World War.

Among the stories is the BNM forex loss, in which the real loss is only about RM5 billion but rest is fabricated loss. Then it is believed the money was diverted to safe haven for drug money like Montevideo Uruguay. There is also the believe that Tun Daim's banks aborad is the conduit for susch money.

At one time, there was police report made by DAP that Mahathir has stashed away RM1.15 trillion cash in RM500 and RM1,000 notes. BNM has records of such notes issued and should know how many was returned for cancellation. 

A rumour making its round is one of the reasons that got Mahathir upset to the point of wanting to topple Najib is because he disallowed the return of such money.

It makes interesting coffeeshop conversation but till more evidence or material made known, it remains mere talk.

Land sales for slush fund

Nevertheless, such activities do exist. Now that Mahathir is on the other side, DAP and PKR are learning too.

Lim Guan Eng and Dato Seri Azmin Ali is likely to get charged for abusing their power on land matters.

In the case of Lim Guan Eng, he signed the approval to sell two pieces of land that was still not reclaimed to pay for over-priced consultancy which was never intended to be built or not feasible to be built (thus the China construction willing accepted RM3 million fee to opt out).

Azmin Ali is still embroiled in an Ijok land deal purchase by Eco World for RM1.18 billion. It was first revealed by but was blown apart when Dato Abdul Rahman Dahlan put a face to the allegation.

The money paid to the settlers is known although there are many troubling issues for interested investigative to put the puzzle together. The question is where is the balance of RM757 million?

The court granted power for payments to be made to Daim & Gamany. They will know where and how it was apportioned.

Political funding

Both cases are likely to be ill-gotten money used by federal level opposition but state level ruling party to fund the general election.

The opposition made a big fuzz over 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion donation from Saudi to Najib as trustee for UMNO and BN but now they are caught in a possible cases of corruption or abuse of power or money laundering.

No wonder the opposition is reluctant to cooperate and jointly support the law on political funding. DAP reluctantly sign the pledge with MACC but was immediately raided for illegal factory involving Phee Bon Pah.

Selangor state government still refuse to sign the integrity pledge. At least they are more honest to not sign the pledge but have been indulging in corrupt activities.

Azmin knows UNISEL case is a sword of democles hanging above.

LBCN could likely point to him once the money flow identified. As MB, he signed for any land related approvals and any approvals involving MBI require his and only consent and signature.

So much for Mahathir's wunder boy as future Prime Minister of Malaysia. It's back to Boboi.

Sincerely hope before ending my political involvement, there will be a law to govern political funding.

Too much spent for political campaign. Could be done cheaper with more transparent and fair media (these days pro-opposition media too is bias) and raising public political education.

Time the country move on for politics of substance and nation building agenda over Mahathir's politics of propaganda, deception, controlled media and emotional play

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