Ijok money-politics and electoral corruption – worst in 50 years of by-elections

In a Mingguan Malaysia interview yesterday, the Election Commission Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman challenged the general perception that the Election Commission is not fair, independent and transparent in the discharge of its constitutional mandate to conduct elections.

Rashid is defending the indefensible as the Election Commission’s record is a history of unmitigated and abysmal failure to conduct free, fair, transparent and clean elections and the “sins” of the Election Commission are long and ignominous.

How can the Election Commission claim to have conducted fair and transparent elections in the past and the present when such blemishes as the following continue unaddressed:

  • Opposition parties not allowed to send polling agents to supervise the casting of postal ballots by members of the police and security forces to ensure free and fair casting of votes.
  • The huge presence of “phantom” voters.
  • Inability to ensure a comprehensive and inclusive electoral roll with the highest possible percentage of eligible voters on the electoral register as there are at present 4.9 million eligible but unregistered voters.
  • Prohibit unfair, dishonest and one-sided media coverage, whether print , radio or television during the election campaigns, such as “below-the-belt” and unethical cartoons, write-ups, broadcasts and telecasts and the “fear and scare” advertisements against the Opposition.
  • Prohibit money politics, not only by candidates but also by political parties.
  • Prohibit abuse of government resources and funds during election campaigns.
  • The short election campaign period which is invariably decided by the Prime Minister when he dissolved Parliament, when this should be the exclusive responsibility of the Election Commission to ensure a “free, fair and clean” election.
  • The abuses by the “caretaker” government in allocating funds and giving election promises with regard to development projects, or abuses of power by Ministers of the “caretaker” government in misappropriating public funds for party election campaigning, such as travelling and other misuse of public resources.

Electoral abuses, making a mockery of any claim to clean, free and fair elections, reach a new height in the recent Machap and the current Ijok by-elections, particularly in the tsunami of money politics to buy votes.

The Alor Gajah District Officer, Hashim Ismail, who was the returning officer of the Machap by-election, yesterday revealed that RM30 million of development projects were poured into the constituency during the two-week campaign period.

With 9,623 voters in Machap, this worked out to RM3,000 of development benefits for each voter as a result of the by-election, although it will be worth a full investigation by the Anti-Corruption Agency as to the “leakage” of the RM30 million development funds — as to what percentage actually reached the voters and not hijacked by cronies and proxies, whether it is 50%, 60%, 70% or higher.

However, this RM30 million channeling of development funds is not the sole item of expenditures for the Barisan Nasional candidate, as there were also expenses incurred by the candidate and the astronomical sums incurred by the Barisan Nasional and its component parties.

The election law limits the maximum expenditure permissible for a candidate in a state assembly election to RM100,000, which had been exceeded by easily some 400 fold in the Machap by-election.

The Ijok by-election is even worse in terms of money politics with the Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohd Khir Toyo announcing RM36 million for various development projects for the constituency even before nomination. With the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak acting as Santa Claus announcing “freebies” all over the constituency everyday, the total development funds poured into Ijok may double if not treble Khir Toyo’s initial announcement.

Together with the monies poured in by the Barisan Nasional and its component parties in the by-election campaign, will the total expenditures on behalf of the BN candidate touch RM100 million — which would break by over 1,000 times the law limiting election expenditure to RM100,000? But again the pertinent question is what percentage of such RM100 million would finally reach the voters and not hijacked halfway by cronies and proxies?

Why is the Election Commission Chairman keeping totally silent with regard to such flagrant disregard of the election law. Ask any person or even a student will know that this is money politics to buy votes except Rashid. Is the Election Commission prepared to establish its independence, professionalism and commitment to its constitutional mandate to conduct free, fair and clean elections by speaking out against the worst case of money politics in 50 years in the history of by-elections in Ijok?

  1. #1 by nat on Monday, 23 April 2007 - 10:19 am

    Does anyone have a full list of the projects promised in Ijok and the amounts allocated?

    If so, please e-mail me at nat{at]jelas.info, would be a great help!!

  2. #2 by Sergei on Monday, 23 April 2007 - 10:24 am

    With the passing of any elected assemblymen, the amount of progress and benefits recorded in that particular district prior to a new by-election are commendable.

    The sacrifice of one person brings benefits to all residents of the district and we should be paying tribute to this great person.

    In fact, I’m looking forward to the demise of my elected assemblyman for my area to benefit.

    Is this the breeding of a new culture? I sincerely hope its not.

  3. #3 by undergrad2 on Monday, 23 April 2007 - 10:29 am

    The EC is a tool of the national coalition which runs the government. The EC Chairman knows it, BN knows it, we know it and the world knows it.

  4. #4 by lks on Monday, 23 April 2007 - 10:37 am

    Get Jimmy Carter in.

  5. #5 by MalaysiaBahru on Monday, 23 April 2007 - 10:37 am

    Developing country or not, NO EXCUSES for CORRUPTION! Just one example, take a look at the LRT or Monorail…we are about 20 years behind Taiwan, Hong Kong or Singapore… if the Govt. is Not Corrupted, Malaysia would have long become an Asian Tiger Economy! If the Govt. is sincere provide more loans for the hawkers and the small businessmen to boost the SME Industry which will fuel the economy more! These are the entrepreneurs and engine of growth for the economy of every country! Do you need a rocket scientist to tell you that? Common!

    Website – http://www.voy.com/207120/

  6. #6 by JohnTheMenace on Monday, 23 April 2007 - 10:52 am

    Oh dear, now every state assemblyman should worry badly. Most, if not all, state’s resident will wish their state assembly representative die before GE.
    So, if the state representative see people praying hard, please be worry, they may wish you good luck good bye.

  7. #7 by Libra2 on Monday, 23 April 2007 - 10:59 am

    Abd Rashid is no more than a BN eunuch. He can do nothing except to talk and defend the indefensible, thereby making himself look real stupid.

  8. #8 by Taiko on Monday, 23 April 2007 - 11:40 am

    The results in the last two by-elections have clearly shown that the people are more confident of the ruling party which carries more weight than the opposition parties.

    I believe it has to do with less known success of areas administered by opposition parties.

    I hope DAP would highlight more of its success than attacking the ruling party.

  9. #9 by Jefus on Monday, 23 April 2007 - 1:10 pm

    What do you call a political party using the governmnet machinery as its own?

    Corruption? Come one, its staring at our faces all the time!

  10. #10 by smeagroo on Monday, 23 April 2007 - 2:52 pm

    must the be some sort of riot in order to get EC and the govt to practice fair play? If there is no fair-play then what’s the point of having a GE? Kinda waste of time and waste of money isnt it. Might as well put the money into their pockets and save us the time too!

  11. #11 by Silas the Albino on Monday, 23 April 2007 - 2:53 pm

    I agree with John the Menace above. There is a very disturbing trend developing here. As soon as a by-election is called for (due in the last 2 cases to the incumbents passing on), development takes place, and suddenly, there is peruntukan for everything. But only in the constituency undergoing the by-election.

    What this means is that if we were to patiently sit back and wait for election promises to be kept, we’ll be kept waiting in vain. Get the incumbent out of the way, and everything would be instantly provided during the by-election. Land titles, CF’s, anything!

  12. #12 by sotong on Monday, 23 April 2007 - 3:06 pm

    There is only a ” democratic election” – one person one vote, including phantom votes.

    There is no real democracy!

  13. #13 by sotong on Monday, 23 April 2007 - 3:32 pm

    It’s like cheating in sports or examination and feel proud of one’s achievement.

    How could anyone have any pride in this?

  14. #14 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Monday, 23 April 2007 - 5:04 pm

    lks Says:

    April 23rd, 2007 at 10:37 am

    “Get Jimmy Carter in.”

    WHY NOT? This is a good a time as any? Can someone initiate the first move for an International Observer Group for Malayisan General Elections.

    BTW – I was not away on holiday. Downed by surgery about 10 days. BAndaged but still galloping with the horses of HOPE for MALAYSIA. Let’s turn IJOK into an ass of an experience for BN.

    Go on PKR, sock it to BN at IJOK.

  15. #15 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Monday, 23 April 2007 - 5:32 pm


    “M’sia PM should quit soon: Mahathir”

    Well, it’s not because Mahathir said so that makes it rocket science. If Mahathir says there are storm clouds in the sky, that’s not rocket science simply because the darkening and swirling skyline portends a raging storm.

    This time, Mahathir is, of course, speaking of what is generally good for the country – not just for himself and his vested interests (which are also plentiful beyond any shadow of doubt. Poor old man, what a visionary with a rat-a-tat-tat knack for bungling on critical leadership decisions and choice of successors! Shakespeare would have reserved his worst curses for this propensity for unspeakable asinine acuity. This time even a fool’s words would speak truthfully for what is good for the people at large.

  16. #16 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Monday, 23 April 2007 - 5:51 pm


    “Fighting Corruption Is A National Mission, Says DPM”

    Coming from the Deputy PM of Malaysia, Najib Tun RAZAK.


    You must believe all those stories you have ever heard that he cheated the government of billions (USD1= RM3.42) through corruption and crony deals are pure lies in his 30 odd years of public service (SCORPENE etc.);

    You must believe all those stories you have heard that he rode on the TIGER of RACISM to political leadership like his mentor Mahathir is a fcition and that really Najib is a peace-loving, non-racist, fair-or equity-minded, pure, civil and altruistic man of love.

    NOW, Malaysians – CASY TOUR VOTES.

  17. #17 by a-malaysian on Monday, 23 April 2007 - 6:28 pm

    To the people of Ijok. Demand and take what you want now for after this by-election you are not going to get anything more provided you know who dies. Come 28 April make a cross for the opposition, the reason is because the GE is coming soon and if the opposition wins in this by-election, surely bn will come a begging and gives you more during the GE.

    I am praying to GOD to wake up bn mp or assemblymen to resign one by one and go for by-elections to help their constituencies. If they are not willing to do so voluntarily, than I am sorry but have to ask GOD to remove them one by one in order for the kampong people to progress and get the basic neccessities.

    I am sorry GOD to ask you in this way but for the good of the people this is the only way to see development in their kampongs or else the peoples money go somewhere else and you know very well where….

    50 years is ENOUGH
    Vote For A Change
    Vote For Any Opposition
    Give Them A Chance To Change For A Better Malaysia
    Remember bn Is A Useless Grouping Of Self Serving, Corrupt, Dictator, Power Crazy, Racist, Kris waving, etc, etc type of parties.

  18. #18 by undergrad2 on Monday, 23 April 2007 - 6:57 pm

    There is this quiet unspoken conspiracy between the EC and UMNO that boundaries are drawn and re-drawn in such as way as to take away the ‘sting’ out of non-Malays votes, in such a way a majority non-Malay area becomes a Malay dominated constituency through the drawing and re-drawing of boundaries.

    Will we get to see an Opposition run government one day? Perhaps, but it’d be more of an aberration rather than the norm. Chances would never be as good as they are today – for an aberration.

    We can make it happen today. But if we cannot, then it will never happen.

    I have consulted the astronomers, and for a few dollars, they tell me the stars are now aligned to bring about ‘change’ on earth. In the United States, a woman is set to be the President and in Malaysia, a one-term Prime Minister is likely to ‘be blown to bits’.

  19. #19 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Monday, 23 April 2007 - 7:12 pm

    undergrad2 Says:

    April 23rd, 2007 at 6:57 pm

    “I have consulted the astronomers, and for a few dollars, they tell me the stars are now aligned to bring about ‘change’ on earth. In the United States, a woman is set to be the President and in Malaysia, a one-term Prime Minister is likely to ‘be blown to bits’.”

    All that has been written in the stars are only the handwriting of the MAKER’s HANDS. This is the best prospect ever in 50 years. Then begins the death knell for dismantling what must be one of the real scourges of Modern Times, a regime deeply rooted in decades of decadence.

    That will also bring down what many believe to be one of the most audaciously corrupt Chief Ministers (MB) of the most modern state of the country.

    That will also bring down what many believe to be the MOST audaciously CORRUPT regimes in Malaysia under its most Islamic PM. What a paradox! Again the inscrutability of divinity.

  20. #20 by raven77 on Monday, 23 April 2007 - 8:15 pm

    God created two by-elections in a row so that Najib can be exposed. God loves Malaysia, do the people love it too ?

  21. #21 by undergrad2 on Monday, 23 April 2007 - 8:19 pm

    Yes, I see the likelihood of Divine intervention in Malaysia.

    Alternatively, we need the likes of Korean student Cho (recently deceased) to end the corruption and the debauchery.

  22. #22 by ihavesomethingtosay on Monday, 23 April 2007 - 9:32 pm

    hi JohnTheMenace, I have been praying hard for their death since Batu Talam, lots of goodies, lots of show, wish they die soon. oh, btw, my state assemblyman and MP happens to be MCA. LOL

  23. #23 by kurakura on Tuesday, 24 April 2007 - 12:05 am

    But it appears that Najib is slowly getting out of the Mongolian lady’s mess……

    Well I am just speculating but in Malaysia’s case things like this is not unusual.

  24. #24 by sonicwall on Tuesday, 24 April 2007 - 1:08 am

    uncle kit

    Can you seriously take a look at the Election Commission (SPR) voters’ registration at


    Please validate their IC number with SPR!

    Your urgency is needed. Thanks

  25. #25 by pwcheng on Tuesday, 24 April 2007 - 2:21 am

    Corruption is second nature to them and as a result moral and ethical values are meaningless to them. They are already like blind men who cannot differentiate between brightness and darkness.

    That is why no action on all the corrupted cases in so long you are connected to UMNO. To them the word “corruption” do not exist in their dictionary as is it a normal everyday affair for them, the only difference is whether you are a general practitioner like the mata mata or some lower ranking government servants who wait for some unfortunate victims or a specialist who by the stroke of a pen can earn them millions.

    The ACA is only a monument erected for display, probably can help to attract a tourist or two during the visit Malaysia year.

  26. #26 by undergrad2 on Tuesday, 24 April 2007 - 5:01 am

    Corruption is a by-product of “modernization” and ‘westernization’ to a certain extent. In agricultural communities, corruption would be minimal.

    There would be corruption as long as there are people offering bribes. I do not care to speculate as to which is the worse, the ‘giver’ of bribes or the ‘taker’.

    This is one instance when the NEP which seeks to reduce the identification of race with economic functions merely act to replace one group with another. But it does nothing to the prevalence of the crime. But that is another matter for another day.

    Back to bribes and corruption. The ‘giver’ of bribes is as guilty of the crime of corruption as the ‘taker’. Yet in Malaysia we do not see the ‘giver’ prosecuted. Why?

    In certain fields, we see yet another situation where the ‘giver’ is prosecuted – but the ‘taker’ goes scot free. The ‘giver’ being the party who solicits (the crime) is prosecuted e.g. in the oldest profession in the world, prostitution. This is due to the nature of the crime. Here soliciting is the crime – not prostitution which in some countries is legal.

  27. #27 by undergrad2 on Tuesday, 24 April 2007 - 5:10 am



    When political power and economic power are divided along racial lines, when such artificial dichotomy exists, when one race holds the political power and another the economic power,the tendency is to associate race with the crime.

    Be that as it may, no one race could be said to be predisposed to corruption or bribery.

  28. #28 by k1980 on Tuesday, 24 April 2007 - 7:51 am

    See http://malaysia-today.net/blog2006/reports.php?itemid=4107

    8 year old registered voters in Ijok! Next, babies in prams are entitled to cast their votes in Malaysia, the most democratic of democracies

  29. #29 by undergrad2 on Tuesday, 24 April 2007 - 8:18 am

    “Let’s just make it a mere teh tarik somewhere in Bangsar because I don’t want you to lose big — just a token bet.”

    Yes, I think Raja Petra will have more than a bucketful of teh tarik when he goes to Bangsar.

    This is the kind of abuse that has to stop – it is voter fraud pure and simple. But I think they already have a way of dealing with it. Government employees count the votes under the eyes of observers. But what are they ‘observing’??

    It is not unknown that BN supporters among them resorted to spoiling votes cast by having lead concealed under their fingernails as they counted the votes! When there are two ‘X’s crossed anywhere on the ballot paper or what appears to be an attempt to vote, the vote is deemed ‘spoilt’.

  30. #30 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 24 April 2007 - 8:20 am

    This is in response to Undergrad2’s comments as per posting on April 24th, 2007 at 5:01 am .

    Of course, as a matter of law, both ‘giver’ and ‘taker’ are guilty of corruption: it takes two hands to clap! For without ‘giver’, no ‘taker’ will be induced. But it is also true that if the ‘giver’ does not expect the favour and uses his position to delay or obstruct what the giver wants and is lawfully entitled, why would the ‘giver’ give? And the fact that the ‘giver’ is prepared to give, under these circumstance, makes the ‘taker’ continue to expect, as well as legitimize his expectation, as a matter of course. So the vicious cycle is perpetuated.

    Why is it, in practice, the ‘giver’ is lesser prosecuted just like the ‘client’ whose patronage is solicited by a prostitute?

    Maybe it is due to the knowledge deep within, but seldom openly admitted, that although both parties are guilty for complicity in a socially disapproved and an unlawful activity, yet between the two, the public official taking the bribe – and in the other context, the prostitute soliciting – is the ‘more’ guilty.

    What is the justification for this line of thinking? The difference lies in one’s position and station as prescribed by society.

    Now we all know that activities like corruption and prostitution have a tendency to be prevalent unless otherwise checked by social and legal sanctions because their roots lie in human nature, or shall we say, the frailty thereof : as in the case of the taker’s desire to use an official position for an unfair gain over others and the ‘giver’s desire to ‘buy’ this public official’s favour in unfair advantage over the rest in the case of corruption; and in the case of prostitution, the desire of the ‘giver’ to have sex without problems and costs other than quantifiable financial outlay, and the ‘taker’ for, money.

    Now in such situations in which both sides are, as a natural human tendency, inclined towards a socially and legally sanctioned activity, the onus and burden of restraint is shifted and imposed on that side whose ‘position’ is such that the expectation is greater on him or her to exercise greater restraint to check, stop and discourage the prohibited activity.

    In the case of corruption the greater burden is imposed on the ‘taker’ because of his official position being that of trust and guardianship of public welfare, funded as it were, by public/tax payers money.

    In the case of prostitution, that onus and burden, perhaps of greater unfairness, is imposed on the female gender, which is supposedly the gatekeeper against unbridled sexual libidinousness and profligacy. As to why that it so, is a different story for another day, too long to expound here.

    It suffices to say that if one goes further and compare the situation of the ‘giver’ (public official) being held more accountable for corruption with that of the other ‘taker’ (‘prostitute’) being held more accountable for prostitution, the former deserves more punishment because of the gravity of his crime.

    The public official’s corrupt act is graver because its perpetration undermines the very fabric and orderly functioning of government and society, as it affects public welfare!

    The same however is not comparable to the oldest profession which inflicts comparatively less harm on society and has more ‘mitigating’ factors.

    The religious and morally rectitude amongst us will object in voices stentorian that the harm is greater in prostitution: it weakens the moral fiber of men/women and undermines the very institution of monogamous marriage based on sexual exclusivity and fidelity between spouses.

    I of course beg to disagree even at risk of being adjudged less morally upright. First of all I have no idea whatsoever the meaning of this nebulous term “moral fiber” used in this context. I suppose it means restraint from what is desired based on moral principles but here we must ask what moral principles that are at stake here.

    To which we are invariably dragged to evaluate the marriage institution based on principles of sexual exclusivity and loyalty between spouses, which have been dealt a blow.

    Let me just say that this institution, which plays a vital and important role in contributing to many benefits to society and the orderly bringing up of children to perpetuate our species, is not entirely free of fiction: that the natural biological imperative for sex may be successfully restrained all the time and confine to one’s spouse without extension to others. That it cannot be so restrained all the time and for all people leads me to the irresistible inference that prostitution provides the safety valve by which excessive libido could be released harmlessly to protect the integrity of familial unity and maintain fiction of sexual fidelity that is necessary for the one man one wife and happily ever after one lifetime arrangement called monogamy with which prostitution is, but glove is to hand, and horse is to carriage!

    The objection of “harm” from point of view of sexually transmittable diseases is also less convincing if clients wear Polyplastic condoms, prostitutes being not criminalized and made to go for regular medical checkups. In these days casual sex of an initially non commercial nature bears the greater risks of passing HIV!

    Let me further say that the prostitute’s soliciting a non interested party inflicts no greater harm that mere public nuisance that must be balanced against her engagement in this trade as an expression of private entrepreneurship that is consistent with the highest ideals of a capitalistic society – of which the clients’ payment is but another form of redistribution of wealth.

    The prostitute works hard and often hazardously to his/her physical and emotional well being for money. None of these mitigating factors avail to a public official who ought to have been reasonably remunerated from his salaries, bonuses and pensions but whose desire and greed are not satiated by comparison to his/her political masters who enrich and aggrandize themselves more by virtue of their more powerful position.

  31. #31 by undergrad2 on Tuesday, 24 April 2007 - 11:12 am

    “And the fact that the ‘giver’ is prepared to give, under these circumstance, makes the ‘taker’ continue to expect, as well as legitimize his expectation, as a matter of course. So the vicious cycle is perpetuated.” Jeffrey

    Spot on!

    So any effort at eradication of corruption has to be two-pronged. We should not apportion blame between the two as one cannot exist independently of the other.

  32. #32 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Tuesday, 24 April 2007 - 11:28 am

    // This time even a fool’s words would speak truthfully for what is good for the people at large. //

    Endangered Hornbill – spot on. Even a broken-down clock will tell the correct times twice a day.

  33. #33 by ihavesomethingtosay on Tuesday, 24 April 2007 - 9:54 pm


    “Fighting Corruption Is A National Mission, Says DPM”

    Spot on Mr DPM, can we start with the Sukoi jets and the submarine deals?

  34. #34 by readme on Tuesday, 24 April 2007 - 10:14 pm

    I am a computer geek.. I dont understand politics…

    This is my explanation of the scenario in Ijok

    Can YOU translate that to politic?

  35. #35 by mwt on Wednesday, 25 April 2007 - 10:01 am

    The BN has always been flexing its muscles and do things to their advantage. The use of the Police to disrupt ceremahs without permit is the tip of the iceberg. A “police source” was also used to quash rumors that the 4 year old kid of the murdered Altantuya is not fathered by any Malaysians in response to the hammering of this point in Ijok. This is another new twist – the end justifying the means in trying to stop the opposition from influencing the voters. It has dawned upon the BN that this Ijok seat is fast slipping away with the passing of Sivalingam. In every election on record the BN has abused the government machineries and facilities and use them in furthering the interest of BN.

    And the latest – Abuse of Airtime over TV1 – 5.00 pm Berita Negeri News by the MIC President on Monday 23rd April 2007. He was caught “red handed” – a recorded 3 mins 5.38 s video clip of his desperate campaign attempt to introduce the candidate and announcing more goodies (a highway from Selayang to Ijok and Ijok to Assam Jawa) in a veiled political MIC initiated campaign (of course with the blessing of Zam, the Info Minister) under the guise of “lintas langsung dari Ijok” – (live telecast from Ijok). For more details and enhanced extracted video images (with elapsed time) check it out at:

    – an exclusive documented evidence you don’t find in any blog or the print media.
    PKR should demand a similar airtime as compensation

  36. #36 by Jimm on Monday, 30 April 2007 - 6:14 pm

    That’s why he is a Tan Sri and most of us are not …. Welcome to Malaysia …

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