Press Release Transparency International-Malaysia
Campaign Expenditure for Upcoming Twin By-Elections
Kuala Lumpur, 4 June 2016 – Two by-elections will be held simultaneously this month – for the parliamentary seats of Sungai Besar in Selangor and Kuala Kangsar in Perak. Nomination is on June 5 and polling is set for June 18.
TI-M reminds all parties of the maximum expenses allowed for an election as stated in the Election Offences Act 1954, namely
Expenses in excess of maximum to be illegal practice
- (1)(a) two hundred thousand ringgit in the case of an election to the Dewan Rakyat;
(2) Any candidate or election agent who knowingly acts in contravention of this section shall be guilty of an illegal practice.
All too often we see these rules overlooked with expenditures during the campaign period far exceeding the RM 200,000 limit per parliamentary seat. This situation is further compounded by a loose interpretation of the Act and lax enforcement by the regulators.
While RM 200,000 may not be practical today, until and unless this changes it remains the legal limit. And it is incumbent on all parties vying for a seat at the Dewan Rakyat to uphold the law.
We can expect all contesting parties to invest a lot of their time and resources during these by-elections, with many promises being made. As to the candidates who are chosen by the respective parties to contest in the two coming by elections TI-M hopes they should only make promises which can be delivered when they are elected as member of parliament and not empty promises which will be remained as promises forever. As such it is important for campaign expenses and promises to be monitored by the respective parties and most importantly the voters, with the winning candidate being held responsible for both.
The voters meanwhile should be ready to punish the winning candidate if he fails to deliver or honour the promises made during the campaigning in the next election. A good elected representative is one who cares and work towards the wishes and welfare of voters of his constituency and the one who puts the interest of his voters above of his own interest.
The Election Commission must take action without fear or favour against any candidates or political parties that breaks the rules and regulations under the Election Offences Act 1954.
To the voters of Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar, TI-M hopes that your chosen candidate will possess that crucial trait which leaders must possess – Integrity.
To quote renowned motivational speaker and author Zig Ziglar, “Integrity alone wouldn’t make you a leader, but without Integrity you will never be one”.
Dato’ Akhbar Satar
Transparency International Malaysia
Transparency International-Malaysia is an independent, non-governmental and non-partisan organisation committed to the fight against corruption.