Malaysiakini Yoursay

Here's how to legalise money politics - lift election spending limits

Yoursay  |  Published:  |  Modified:

YOURSAY | ‘This is like ancient warfare, cutting off the food supply to the enemy’s camp.’

Reform committee wants election spending limits abolished

Headhunter: Lifting election spending limits is opening the Pandora’s box. A rich candidate can now openly buy his way to being elected.

Certainly, those with plenty of ‘dedak’ (animal feed) will bribe their way to be elected. This cannot be right.

Rku020: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Paul Low, legalising money politics is not political financing reform.

This is another attempt to keep certain parties in power for another 50 years. Our children's and grandchildren's future is doomed.

Anonymous #19098644: The limits should be raised in line with inflation but there should be a limit so that billionaires and multi-millionaires cannot buy elections, like in some countries.

What is needed is strict enforcement and disqualify candidates who breach the limits, either directly or indirectly.

Leonie: This is a red herring. The real issue is how to make the Election Commission independent and impartial, as Bersih and seasoned political analysts have been saying, particularly since the 2008 and 2013 elections.

If not, how on earth can a party with less than half the popular votes have a 60 percent parliamentary majority or 44 more seats in 'parliament'?

My cynical friend says the real impetus for this proposal is because a big chunk of the incumbents' war chest has been frozen overseas.

Wong Lu Shin: Yes, the only electoral reform I want to see is equal-sized constituencies, and an end to gerrymandering and malapportionment.

Anonymous_1419577444: It’s surprising to see Low still around and trying to do this with a straight face.

And he hasn't asked his boss about the billions that were ‘donated’ by the Arab prince?

Gotcha: So now one can buy votes. That's why they are trying to do away with spending limits.

There should be limits set, otherwise the rich and corrupt will throw money just to get elected. The present limit should remain at all costs.

The Analyser: Some reform, that? Especially when you are a representative of the party who allegedly have their fingers in the nation's pocket.

On the contrary, I would suggest that the electioneering budget for each party be restricted to a common base line.

Elections are about issues, not about money. That would hopefully augur against manipulation of government policy by affluent people and overseas interests.

FellowMalaysian: If there's no limits imposed on donation funds received or spent by political parties or its candidates, then Umno will have a field day as there are plenty of conglomerates flushed with cash which are owned and operated by Umno honchos.

Why is there not even one person from the opposition in the committee?

Anonymous_40bb: The opposition is already finding it hard to receive local donations from corporations, which do not dare donate to the opposition in case of a backlash from the ruling government. The public are too poor to donate.

This is almost like ancient warfare where one cuts off the food supply to the enemy’s camp.

Well Thats Fantastic: Is this because rich people deserve to win elections?

Ban cash donations from foreign sources, suggests committee

The Analyser: It’s symptomatic of Malaysia's approach to just about everything that they don’t like - let’s ban it.

The fact that a ban (on cash donations from foreign sources) would be impossible to police does not seem to have entered the heads of this 'illustrious' committee.

Jaycee: So, this is to absolve a certain someone from receiving billions of donations money earlier. What bull. We all know that the money came from the taxpayers coffers.

There never was a donation. This is just another show and to justify the alleged stealing from the taxpayers is okay.

Anonymous_3f6d: The national consultative committee on political financing committee is talking nonsense.

Isn’t taking money from foreign countries tantamount to treason and selling out your homeland?

Checks against victimisation of political donors mooted

Freethinker: Even if such a measure is in place, the committee must be elected by independent parties who has no connection whatsoever to any politician.

No one will take you seriously if the ‘appointed controller’ is appointed by the ruling party. We do not need another Election Commission 2 kind of committee.

Basically: How about getting your act together on an undisclosed RM2.6 billion donation before going about this dubious plan, Low?

This committee is putting the cart before a very large horse.


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