13 May 2012

Election Date – Key Indicators

Election Date – Key Indicators

This post is also available in: Iban, Malay

In through the front gate - wait till the businessmen stream in, then the election is about to be held

Speculation has dragged on for months about when Najib is going to summon up courage and call an election. Many believed it would be today, Monday, with a polling day for June 9th.

But, surely even Najib Razak’s pricey foreign PR teams would hardly suggest launching an election campaign from the other side of the world in the O2 London Dome?

We have a more convincing indicator that election enthusiasts should watch out for. Wait for the day when all Taib’s key business cronies start rolling up to his home in Demak Jaya and can be seen staggering from their Hilux Toyotas, carrying heavy suitcases into the house!

This is when you will know that BN is seriously about to call an election!

‘We were queueing up with bags of cash!’

Election pose - representative of the people or just a vote buyer?

Key insiders have now confided in disgust what happens each time Taib arranges an election in Sarawak. Because, this is when the Chief Minister calls in his dues and demands hundreds of millions of ringgit from the businesses that he has favoured with contracts and concessions.

We have been told that he wants the money in used notes to be brought to his house in suitcases!  Much of the money is then flown out of Sarawak by private jet to Singapore, where it is distributed to the key political allies that he needs to bribe.

These allies include the leaders of the political parties, which he needs to remain in his BN coalition.

Our sources have divulged that the company bosses who get the call, come the real election time, are the top timber, plantation and construction firms: Rimbunan Hijau, KTS, WTK, Shin Yang, HSL, Samling are amongst the ‘Golden Contractors’, who are expected to fork out astonishing sums to keep their status after the election is over.

A senior figure at one such company has confessed that he carried RM50million in bank notes at the last election, handing them personally to Taib in a highly embarrassing encounter:

The other businessmen were practically queuing up behind me to see him for the same reason on the same day”, he said, remarking he was “ashamed of the whole thing”.

BN Bribes

4 wheel drive - good for transport

The most shocking aspect of these revelations is possibly the fact that the money shelled out by favoured tycoons is not only handed out to poor voters as bribes the night before polling, but that it is also needed to pay for the continued loyalty of Taib’s pampered political allies.

What morals do Sarawak’s BN Dayak politicians have that they are prepared to sell out their people for position and favour and yet also expect an extra bribe at election time worth millions?

It is no surprise that the businessman has reflected that the lion’s share of the loot is kept by Taib himself!

Slipping control

The fact that these matters are now being openly spoken of is a sure sign that Taib’s system of corruption has over-reached itself.

How shocking that the Chief Minister has to buy the support of his allies with such lavish pay outs!  It is a sign that genuine loyalty has long since deserted the failing and ailing old dictator.

Taib is clearly clinging to power by favouring the same old tycoons, who have supported him for the last 30 years and then squeezing them to bribe his political allies and poor voters.

This is the man who promised he would soon be retiring on the eve of the last state election, just as he had promised back in the 1990s!

Remember, this is all money that has been robbed from Sarawak’s voters in the first place, through illegal concessions and over-priced government contracts handed out to cronies.  Taib’s method of government has drained his country and corrupted it to the extreme.

So, watch for those 4-wheel drives streaming in through the gates.  Then it will soon be the day that you get the chance to put a stop to the rot!

 

 

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  • Baleh Madman

    Money Politik according to James Masing – The good, the bad, the ugly story teller!

    _______________________

    Masing slams ‘wild allegations’ of vote buying

    The Borneo Post, 28 May 2011

    KUCHING: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Dato Sri Dr James Jemut Masing yesterday rubbished so-called reports of vote buying in Tamin as “wild allegations”.

    “If indeed there was (vote buying), as alleged, why didn’t they file election petition for vote buying?” he said when contacted.

    Masing was commenting on a news portal’s report that Malaysian Election Observation Network (MEO-Net) had evidence, including a short video recording, of cash being distributed to voters in Tamin.

    Tamin is one of the eight seats won by PRS, a state Barisan Nasional (BN) component member, in the recent election.

    Meanwhile, Tamin assemblyman Joseph Mauh Ikeh also denied he had used money to influence constituents.

    The money spent during the election, he said, was to pay election workers and transportation expenses.

    “We do use money but it is to pay those people who work for us during the election, and we also need money to pay for transport, which included the boats for us to move around. I don’t think this is wrong,” he said.

    Although it has been more than a month since the state election, polls watchdog MEO-Net reportedly said it has found evidence to show that vote buying was rampant during the campaign period.

    MEO-Net coordinator Ong Boon Keong also released a short video recording, which was allegedly shot on the verandah of Rumah Unban Anak Endu at Tenting Terentang in Nanga Selangau, under the Tamin constituency.

    Tamin was won by BN through Mauh, who obtained 4,998 votes, a 1,292-majority over PKR Mengga Mikui.

    So far, the only election filed was by PRS last Friday to nullify the result of the contest for Pelagus.

    PRS claimed that money politics was involved during the election campaign there — the only seat the party lost.

    State election director Datu Takun Sunggah, when contacted yesterday, said any reports or allegations of vote buying must be made through the proper channels.

    ________________

    BN rep: We don’t pay, they won’t vote

    Malaysia Kini, Saturday, 28 May 2011

    Payments to voters cannot be considered vote-buying because it was for their transportation, says a BN MP in Sarawak.

    Tamin BN assemblyperson Joseph Mauh Ikeh has vehemently shot down any allegation of vote-buying during the Sarawak state polls.

    He clarified that the payments to voters was ‘transport allowance’ otherwise they would not come out to vote.

    Besides the transport allowance, some of the voters were paid for campaign work like putting up posters, according to the Parti Rakyat Sarawak vice-president.

    “This is normal. It is not vote-buying. We paid the voters for them to buy petrol because they came to vote at their own expense, or else they would not have come out to vote,” he told Malaysiakini when contacted today.

    “If no money was paid, nobody would come to vote, then who is going to be elected as YB (assemblyperson)?” he asked.

    His statement was in response to the polls watchdog Malaysian Election Observation Network’s (MEO-Net) allegation yesterday that some Tamin voters were paid RM50 on April 14, two days before the polling day.

    ‘Everybody is doing it’ argument

    MEO-Net had released a short video recording showing stacks of cash purportedly being distributed to voters at the Rumah Unban Anak Endu longhouse located at Tenting Terentang in Nanga Selangau.

    The three-term MP and two-term state assemblyperson claimed that the opposition was doing the same to get the electorate to vote.

    “Eveybody did that, the opposition also did that. We also have proof of the other side (opposition). They gave RM10, RM20 and even RM100 to the voters.

    “Both opposition and BN paid the voters throughout Sarawak in all 71 constituencies, he added.

    Joseph Mauh also stressed that the law allows each candidate to spend up to RM100,000 in an election.

    “We paid them but they still had the freedom to vote. That’s why over 3,000 had voted for the opposition.

    “This is not vote-buying, please, this is just something like saguhati (consolation),” he said.

    Joseph Mauh retained the Iban-majority seat with 4,998 votes, a 1,292-majority over PKR’s Mengga Mikui who bagged 3,706 votes.

    MEO-Net has been furnishing evidence of alleged vote-buying, intimidation and abuses of government resources during the 10-day Sarawak election campaign period.

    The watchdog claimed money politics was so rampant that were all allegations investigated extensively, they are likely to nullify the state election results.

    According to MEO-Net, giving money to voters is an offence under section 10(a) of the Election Offences Act 1954.

    ________________

    S’wak CM’s office ‘issued cheques to buy votes’

    Malaysia Kini, Monday 30 May 2011

    An election monitor reveals that the cheques were also made out to longhouse chiefs, to be cashed when BN candidates won.

    Malaysian Election Observers Network coordinator Ong Boon Keong has revealed more damning evidence of alleged vote-buying in the recent Sarawak elections, following an equally controversial video exposé of the alleged offence on May 26.

    Ong is giving the authorities two weeks to act, failing which he will initiate a nationwide campaign to mobilise voters in rejecting all candidates who have a similar ‘strategy’ in mind for the coming general election.

    He revealed photocopies of vouchers dated March 25 and 27 purportedly from the Chief Minister’ s Office, showing that a payment of RM15,000 had been made to members of a longhouse and RM1,000 to another recipient.

    Ong, who has been involved in registering voters in the interiors of Sarawak since 2009, said he was reliably informed by local observers that the payments were made after the dissolution of the state assembly on March 25.

    He claimed that cheques for various amounts that tallied with the number of voters in each longhouse had been distributed at the Selangau BN office to about 200 tuai rumah (longhouse chiefs).

    “The purpose is for the longhouse chiefs to distribute RM500 per door. The cheque was to be cashed, the chiefs were told, after the BN candidate won,” he told reporters in Penang last night.

    “On the eve of polling, there was a round of cash payments to individual voters, with each receiving RM50 or RM100. For example, in the Rumah Unban longhouse, the payment shown in the video was RM50 per voter.”

    Ong said the payments are questionable as they were “indisputably” meant to pressure voters to vote for a particular candidate.

    His team also came across elements of deceit because multiple cheques had bounced, for example, due to spelling mistakes in the recipients’ names.

    Ong stressed that Tamin BN assemblyperson Joseph Mauh Ikeh’s claim that the money was to subsidise transport expenses cannot stand against the more credible account of vote-buying by local observers.

    “Mauh also called it a ‘consolation’ (sagu hati) payment to the voters. He should be told that such payments blatantly violate the Election Offences Act 1954, as they amount to bribery whether or not the voters eventually voted for him.

    “Mauh’s argument that 3,000 voters voted for his opponent does not mean that he did not try to induce voters to vote for him.”

    ‘Gross criminality’

    Mauh, the Parti Rakyat Sarawak vice-president, had shot down the allegations, clarifying that the payments were a “transport allowance” for voters to get to polling stations, or an allowance for those involved in campaign work like putting up posters.

    Ong had earlier released a video recording showing cash purportedly being distributed to voters in the Tamin state constituency, which was retained by the BN.

    He said he finds the matter troubling as the money was from the allocation for the development budget administered by the Chief Minister’s Office.

    “As polls were called following the dissolution of the state assembly, any allocation from the state coffers to advance a candidate’s campaign amounts to criminal theft!” he exclaimed.

    Building on Mauh’s (left) remark that payments may have been issued to voters in all 71 constituencies, Ong said the total amount of public funds used for the Sarawak BN campaign would amount to an astounding RM208 million for 979,796 voters.

    The money needed to buy votes for Tamin alone, he noted, would amount to about RM2.6 million for 12, 224 voters.

    “This amounts to gross criminality against the state and inordinate unfairness to the opposition (which has) no similar access to public funds,” said Ong.

    “More seriously, election results significantly distorted by vote-buying are unrepresentative of the real choice of the people and are therefore invalid.”

    Last week, Ong was deported while on a visit to Sarawak in connection with the state election. He was not given a reason.

    ____________________

    PRS chief: Pelagus loss due to lack of resources

    The Star, Monday April 18, 2011

    KUCHING: PRS’ defeat in Pelagus has been attributed to “lack of resources and money politics”.

    Its president Datuk Seri Dr James Masing (pic) said Pelagus was basically a vast interior seat that to fully cover it during campaign time required a lot of money.

    Masing said that unlike the independent candidate, who enjoyed the strong financial backing of an individual whom he refused to name, the PRS candidate was operating on “very limited resources”.

    “Some people were really using money to swing the votes in their favour,” Masing claimed.

    Another reason for his candidate’s defeat in Pelagus was Barisan’s own doing, Masing said, making reference to Pelagus incumbent Larry Sng who was giving away minor rural project grants right to the eve of nomination.

    He said when Sng continued to give away grants, the impression he left on the people was that there could not be a better candidate than him.

    According to him, Sng should not have been allowed to disburst project grants well before the election as was the case in Lubok Antu in 2008.

    He said in 2008 election, former Lubok Antu MP Jawah Gerang, who was earmarked to be dropped from the Barisan’s candidate list, had his MRP fund freezed one year before the election.

    “Unfortunately, this was not the case for Larry Sng and this eventually worked to the disadvantage of our new candidate,” he said.

    PRS did not retain Sng to defend his seat but instead fielded Stanley Nyitar @ Unja Malang of PRS in Pelagus who lost to independent George Lagong, Larry’s step uncle, by a majority of 2,837 votes.

    ___________________

    PRS files election petition over Pelagus seat

    The party had “very good reason to believe that money politics was involved there in the state election”.

    Borneo Post, Friday May 20, 2011

    SIBU: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) has filed an election petition to nulify the result of the contest for the Pelagus seat in the April 16 state election.PRS Pelagus division chief Philimon Nuing accompanied by party Information chief Wilson Nyabong and lawyer Sim Hoi Chuan filed the petition at the Sibu High Court today.

    According to Nyabong, who is the Pelagus seat director of operations, the party had “very good reason to believe that money politics was involved there in the state election”.

    The petition was filed before senior assistant registrar Suhailla Selag.

    In the election, PRS/BN candidate Stanley Nyitar @ Unja ak Malang was involved in a three-cornered fight with Edward Sumbang of Parti Keadilan Rakyat and George Lagong who stood as an independent.

    George won the election with a 2,837-vote majority.

    He garnered 5,740 votes against 2,903 obtained by Stanley and the 1,171 obtained by Edward.

    The voter turnout was 9,986. This is the first petition filed after the election. – Bernama

  • Janik Heineken RM50

    How the world’s best democracy works in Malaysia:

    Free BEERS, PORK, CASH to voters! Simple yet proven success to BN time and again!

    Free BEERS, PORK, CASH to voters! Simple yet proven success to BN time and again!

    Free BEERS, PORK, CASH to voters! Simple yet proven success to BN time and again!

    ___________________

    Quoted from:

    Title Why governments fail to capture economic rent: the unofficial appropriation of rain forest rent by rulers in insular Southeast Asia between 1970 and 1999

    Author David W. Brown

    Publisher University of Washington, 2001

    Original from the University of California

    Digitized Jul 26, 2008

    Length 724 pages

    …..The Ming Court affair (April 1987, pre-Sarawak snap election) is perhaps the most visible instance of the use of the state’s timber resource to achieve political objectives. However, timber rent is used in more direct ways to achieve political objectives, such as buying votes at election time. Elections in Sarawak are expensive.

    To illustrate the high cost of buying elections, the ruling party BN spent about $400 per voter, or $4 million to defeat a candidate (eg.opposition DAP) for the state assembly, Chiew Chin Sing (DAP candidate), who would have represented only about 10,000 voters. During the weeks approaching the election, ten different teams of senior Sarawak Alliance (Sarawak BN) officials, their officeholders and retinues visited all of the 180 longhouses in the district, holding parties each night in ten different longhouses. Chiew explained how these 10,000 voters were wooed:

    Expenses were as follows: most members of the traveling parties were paid a salary. For each longhouse party that was held, five pigs and fifty cases of Heineken beer were purchased. In addition to the good times at the parties, where many promises were made, each family was given RM1,200($480) to vote for Chiew’s opponent.

    The ruling coalition ensured that a family whose head received a $480 bribe would actually vote for the ruling coalition candidate by paying only $240 per family up front, with the remaining half to be paid only if the ruling coalition candidate carried a large majority in that longhouse.

    To pay the second installment, the ruling coalition rented out as campaign headquarters the entire Lee Hua hotel in Sibu, the large city downriver from Chiew’s largely rural district. Chiew said after the election, the headman from each longhouse would travel to stay at the hotel, and collect the second installment of the bribes for the families in his longhouse. In that particular election the ruling coalition candidate defeated Chiew by a vote of 6,938 to 1,457 (19 July 1997 interview with Chiew Chin Sing).

    Charges of vote buying in Sarawak were confirmed in a review of Malaysian politics:

    [T]he High Court made political history when it declared an election victory by the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition null and void due to vote buying. The judge ruled that “vote buying was so extensive [that] it had affected the election result” in the Bukit Begunan constituency in the September 1996 Sarawak state election. Although vote buying by the BN is widespread in Malaysia, hitherto it has been almost impossible to prove it in court. In this case, however, there was clear evidence including photographs showing cash being handed out by BN campaigners to voters just prior to election day. In the subsequent by-election, the same BN candidate from Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) who had won in the voided election easily won the seat again (Asian Survey 1997).

    Another source who was in Sarawak for the 1996 state elections said that on the final day before polling, he saw RM660,000 ($264,000) in bribes being given out to voters in a single location. The bribes ranged in size from RM600($240) for each indigenous voter to RM2,200 ($880) for each Malaysian Chinese voter (1 October 1996 interview with a knowledgeable Sabah-based source).

    In Sarawak, much of the money to buy votes comes not from timber rent appropriated by t

  • Janik Heineken RM50

    How the world’s best democracy works in Malaysia:

    Free BEERS, PORK, CASH to voters! Simple yet proven success to BN time and again!

    Free BEERS, PORK, CASH to voters! Simple yet proven success to BN time and again!

    Free BEERS, PORK, CASH to voters! Simple yet proven success to BN time and again!

    ___________________

    Quoted from:

    Title Why governments fail to capture economic rent: the unofficial appropriation of rain forest rent by rulers in insular Southeast Asia between 1970 and 1999

    Author David W. Brown

    Publisher University of Washington, 2001

    Original from the University of California

    Digitized Jul 26, 2008

    Length 724 pages

    …..The Ming Court affair (April 1987, pre-Sarawak snap election) is perhaps the most visible instance of the use of the state’s timber resource to achieve political objectives. However, timber rent is used in more direct ways to achieve political objectives, such as buying votes at election time. Elections in Sarawak are expensive.

    To illustrate the high cost of buying elections, the ruling party BN spent about $400 per voter, or $4 million to defeat a candidate (eg.opposition DAP) for the state assembly, Chiew Chin Sing (DAP candidate), who would have represented only about 10,000 voters. During the weeks approaching the election, ten different teams of senior Sarawak Alliance (Sarawak BN) officials, their officeholders and retinues visited all of the 180 longhouses in the district, holding parties each night in ten different longhouses. Chiew explained how these 10,000 voters were wooed:

    Expenses were as follows: most members of the traveling parties were paid a salary. For each longhouse party that was held, five pigs and fifty cases of Heineken beer were purchased. In addition to the good times at the parties, where many promises were made, each family was given RM1,200($480) to vote for Chiew’s opponent.

    The ruling coalition ensured that a family whose head received a $480 bribe would actually vote for the ruling coalition candidate by paying only $240 per family up front, with the remaining half to be paid only if the ruling coalition candidate carried a large majority in that longhouse.

    To pay the second installment, the ruling coalition rented out as campaign headquarters the entire Lee Hua hotel in Sibu, the large city downriver from Chiew’s largely rural district. Chiew said after the election, the headman from each longhouse would travel to stay at the hotel, and collect the second installment of the bribes for the families in his longhouse. In that particular election the ruling coalition candidate defeated Chiew by a vote of 6,938 to 1,457 (19 July 1997 interview with Chiew Chin Sing).

    Charges of vote buying in Sarawak were confirmed in a review of Malaysian politics:

    [T]he High Court made political history when it declared an election victory by the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition null and void due to vote buying. The judge ruled that “vote buying was so extensive [that] it had affected the election result” in the Bukit Begunan constituency in the September 1996 Sarawak state election. Although vote buying by the BN is widespread in Malaysia, hitherto it has been almost impossible to prove it in court. In this case, however, there was clear evidence including photographs showing cash being handed out by BN campaigners to voters just prior to election day. In the subsequent by-election, the same BN candidate from Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) who had won in the voided election easily won the seat again (Asian Survey 1997).

    Another source who was in Sarawak for the 1996 state elections said that on the final day before polling, he saw RM660,000 ($264,000) in bribes being given out to voters in a single location. The bribes ranged in size from RM600($240) for each indigenous voter to RM2,200 ($880) for each Malaysian Chinese voter (1 October 1996 interview with a knowledgeable Sabah-based source).

    In Sarawak, much of the money to buy votes comes not from timber rent appropriated by the chief minister but from that of his political supporters, who have been given timber concessions for that purpose. Sarawak Alliance party operatives and Sarawak Alliance state assemblymen are awarded timber concessions provided that they make cash available during election time. Similarly, politicians who can secure large majorities for the Sarawak Alliance in their areas can prevail upon the chief minister to award them timber concessions (26 May 1997 interview with Lao Siew Chang).

  • joshua j

    Nothing is closer to the truth. If not, How else had the politico-gansters rapped sarawak for the last 32 years? Money & Corruption equals power

  • aborium

    I see your point, but then again, isn’t it the duty of every CM to protect the interests of Sarawak? He’s elected in office on that premise, so take it as a given. What we the Rakyat fail to understand is why his government is resistant to do the right things for the right reasons. Corruption and Crony Capitalism is the illegitimate child of those cozy relationships between Government and Business that have been around for ages. It’s doing easy money at the expense of others. Now, we say that’s enough and it’s got to stop or else we will all rot! It will destroy us as a society before we even knew we had the disease.

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