Monday, July 13, 2015

Election Bought/Sold

One of the strangest things about the current scandal engulfing Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is how strong his support has been within his own party. As bad as the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal has been, PM Najib’s support in Barisan Nasional (BN) has been very strong.

It seems we now have the reason why.

According to the Citizens For Accountable Governance Malaysia (CAGM), a non-governmental organization, the money that had been in PM Najib’s account were channeled to component parties of BN in the run-up to the 13th general election in 2013. The CAGM were used to “greased the wheels” of election machinery to ensure victory for the BN.

Now throwing money around during election time is no surprise, it happen in every country, but what’s surprising is the numbers involved. According to CAGM, the 13 BN component parties each received an average of RM30 million to RM50 million, and the rest of the funds were given to more than a dozen BN-friendly parties and NGOs.

This, if true, would explain a few things. One; why US$700 million (RM2.67 billion) were channeled into two of PM Najib's accounts. Two; why no one in the Malaysian government has demanded that the PM step down. And three; why PM Najib’s insistence that he did not have or use the money for "his personal gain" has not been challenged by anyone in BN.

If this report from CAGM is true, then one thing is clear. The BN should not be the government of Malaysia. They bought the election in 2013, to the tune of US$700 million, and even then they lost the popular vote! Malaysia now needs a new general election, hopefully this time it will be one where it won’t be bought. 

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