Should a candidate’s vote correspond to how much he/she spends in the election campaign? It seems so in Malaysian elections if we just look at gross comparisons between the well-funded candidates and the results they often get! Surely spending is not a sure win formula for candidates/ parties eg BN suffered 4 loses in Penisular despite raining millions down the constituencies involved in elections. However there are more than 1 way to see the truths in the PM’s words that elections are huge `waste’ of public fund! Now how to achieve fairness if election spending cannot be made transparent and also brought to some rough parity?
In explaining the votes shares of the independent candidates PKR’s Saifuddin claimed that the votes for the independents combined would be no more than 4%. He did not explicitly link the 7000 votes he predict for PKR candidate to the deployment of 500 campaign workers and running 51 operation centres. How much would it cost to run such an operation? How much of the 7000 votes is attributable to the uncomparable election spending and how much to the candidate/party’s appeal? These are the fair questions to inquire into if election fairness is to be enforced.
PENANTI, May 29 — Saifuddin Nasution has only a few hours of sleep each night. To say that life is hectic for Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s (PKR) election director is a gross understatement. The past three weeks have been crazy as he has had to juggle over 500 campaign workers spread across 51 operation centres around Penanti while at the same time trying to contain the damage from bribery accusations by an ex-PKR leader now turned independent candidate.
He says he is “very confident” coming down the final stretch leading up to polling day in the Penanti by-election and has “pity” for Aminah Abdullah, the ex-PKR Penang Wanita chief who has accused her former party of offering inducements for her to withdraw from the contest or rejoin the party.
Saifuddin, the former Barisan Nasional Youth secretary who joined PKR more than 10 years ago, expects PKR to get roughly the same number of votes it obtained in the Permatang Pauh by-election last August, or about 7,000. BN had obtained about 5,000 votes but is not contesting this time.
He also sees the three independent candidates obtaining no more than four per cent of the total possible votes, or no more than 600, based on the results of previous by-elections.