Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Big spender Najib splurge RM58 bil for election support, top in region

Harakahdaily,23 April 2013

Apr 23: Seasoned analyst of Malaysian politics Bridget Welsh today said that BN chairman Najib Razak had so far spent a whopping RM58 billion or RM4,363 per voter to shore up support at the coming polls.

Welsh (left), an associate professor of political science at the Singapore Management University, said the figure was reached after studying over 4,000 news reports since 2009 - the year Najib replaced Abdullah Badawi as prime minister - as well as the three budgets including supplemental budgets under Najib between 2010-2013.

“I conservatively estimate that his administration has spent a total of RM57.7 billion from after he took over as PM to just before the dissolution of parliament on election-related incentives,” said Welsh, writing in Malaysiakini.

She said some RM46.7 billion was spent on development targeted pledges and RM11.0 billion on '1Malaysia' programmes.

“The two main components of this largess are politically targeted distributions and 1Malaysia spending. These measures are inherently political as not only are they framed as political tools, they are being openly been touted as a reason to support the BN at the voting booth,” she said.

She noted that the main share of the spending was not the RM5.6 billion spent on BR1M (Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia) but on other populist initiatives  such as salary increases and school construction under the instruction of the Prime Minister’s Office.

“To put in another way, the estimate suggested that the Najib administration has spent an estimated RM4,363 per voter so far. This is by far the most expensive election primer in Malaysian history. Given that money has been allocated to different candidates for the campaign, more money is coming,” Welsh warned.

As such, Najib has now the reputation of spearheading the most expensive election campaign in Southeast Asia, she added.

Prior tto this, a report by Maybank on March 19 revealed that thr Prime Minister’s Department spent RM36.1 million on Najib's government image rebranding exercise.

This included advertising for campaigns via radio, television and other traditional media.
~ Harakah Daily

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This was done for the rakyat that BN promised and more. He did not give to his family, put into his pocket or to his supporters only. This was given to every deserving citizen including DAP, PKR and PAS. Tun Mahathir would have spent much much more during his >20 years in office. Without which we will not be where we are today enjoying his success. Why bring this up now just before the election? Is it not belittling BN and the PM.