The discrepancies between the rules for UMNO party elections and General Elections has grown more and more glaring by the day: UMNO has found unregulated and unlimited campaign expenses to be a nuisance -giving rise to pervasive perception of `money politics’ or an euphemism for votes buying, associated to UMNO party elections. So a smart alex in the UMNO election suggest that UMNO copy the measures to make campaign expenses transparent in US! Why not even extend that suggestion to the General Elections?
October 28, 2008 21:46 PM
Have Clear Rules On How Much Candidates Can Spend, On What – Syed Hamid
BAGAN SERAI, Oct 28 (Bernama) — The time has come for Umno to introduce clear rules on how much a candidate in the party elections could spend, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar.
He said the rules should, among others, also state what a candidate could spend on and the contributors to the fund for the candidate to spend.
“You cannot say that a candidate cannot spend in facing the party elections. You can’t live without money. Now, everything costs money but there must be rules that state clearly what tantamounts to corruption and what does not,” he said after attending a briefing on the floods in and around Alor Pongsu, at the penghulu’s office, near here, Tuesday.
Also present at the briefing were the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan, director of Internal Security and Public Order Datuk Husin Ismail and Perak police chief Datuk Zulkefli Abdullah.
Syed Hamid, who is Kota Tinggi Umno division chief, said the method of choosing the United States president could be used as a guideline.
He said the US presidential campaign allowed the candidates to collect funds and this was public knowledge, while all the expenses were declared so that they would not come under dispute by any quarters.
“In politics here, we sometimes receive contibutions from companies, inviduals and others, and there is a thin line between what is acceptable and what is corruption.
“If we have clear rules on such matters, it will be easier… the people will know where the money comes from and for what and those involved will know what they can and cannot do,” he said.
Syed Hamid, whose nominations have exceeded the quota required to contest a party vice-president post, said the systems in Umno which were no longer in tune with the current times should be abolished, and cited the nomination quota as one.
He said a new formula should also be introduced to replace the voting through the party delegates at the divisional level, so as to enable more grassroot members to be involved in the decision making at the national level.
“We need to look at new approaches to enable us to move towards what is called participative democracy, for greater overall involvement of the grassroots in party affairs and also to prevent money politics,” he proposed.