Thursday, March 10, 2016

PKR: RM1.5b spent for polls 16 times beyond legal limit

Published Today 2:18 pm

Malacca Chief Minister Idris Haron’s admission that BN had spent “more than RM1.5 billion” in the 13th general election shows that the ruling coalition had flouted election laws, PKR vice-president Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin said.

As such, the Election Commission must explain if this is an admission of vote-buying, he said.
Section 19 of the Election Act 1954 limits spending to RM100,000 for state constituencies and RM200,000 for parliamentary constituencies, he said.

This means that the most BN should have spent for the 500 state and 222 parliamentary constituencies it contest is RM94.4 million, he said.

“So why did BN spend RM1.5 billion? Isn’t this a breach of election regulation? (This) RM1.5 billion is 16 times more than what is allowed by the Election Commission,” he said in a statement.

According to the Act, candidates found breaching the expenditure limit can be fined up to RM5,000 by a Sessions Court, disqualifying him or her from being an elected representative.

Idris yesterday told Malaysiakini that BN spent more than RM1.5 billion on the 2013 general polls, but this does not mean the money came from the RM2.6 billion political donation obtained by BN chief Najib Abdul Razak.

This comes after former Kedah menteri besar Mukhriz Mahathir said Najib once revealed the coalition spent RM1.5 billion to win GE13.

Najib was under investigation over RM2.6 billion found in his bank accounts, but attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali said the probe found it was a political donation from a member of the Saudi royal family.

Apandi also said Najib returned US$620 million to the donor, who was not publicly identified.

The AG said there was no element of corruption found.

To another question, Shamsul said PKR may meet the suspended Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin, who headed the BN election campaign at the last general election, to discuss the matter.

"It's a good suggestion, we will it take up," he said in a press conference at the Parliament lobby.

Give an acceptable explanation

Meanwhile, PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar urged the public and media to pressure EC to give an acceptable explanation.

"Idris Haron's latest expose gives justification for the EC to come forward to explain why they did not conduct investigation when there was a clear-cut evidence that the BN and Umno had crossed the limitation stipulated under election laws.

"We have filed a suit in court against Najib, 1MDB and the EC in relation to this issue. Off course, (we failed as ) the 30-day period (after the official result to file an election petition) had lapsed.

"We have tried and failed to use the law and the courts in this country," she said.

Nurul Izzah said the EC should come forward with an acceptable response or else find a new commission head.

"As you know, the new commission head (Mohd Hashim Abdullah) is the former political secretary to Tan Sri Annuar Musa," she said.

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