Saturday, 28 July 2018

MINISTER OF HUMAN RESOURCES BEGS NEPAL TO LIFT ITS BAN ON NEPALI WORKERS COMING TO WORK IN MALAYSIA

Malaysia's Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran had earlier announced that Malaysian eateries would have to hire Malaysian cooks only from 1 January 2019 but following protests by associations of restaurant owners, he somewhat backed off from his supposedly from his hardline stand.

Well now the recently elected government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal (a.k.a. Nepal), led by the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), had barred Nepalese workers from coming to Malaysia to work because Nepal was unhappy "with restrictive Malaysian immigration requirements for its workers before they can be employed. This includes going through a private company "monopoly" for security and medical check-ups as part of the visa requirement", The Star reported.

It's rather strange that Malaysia's recently elected Pakatan Harapan government had not moved sooner to undo this legacy of previous governments, whereby one private company handles security and medical checkups of Nepali workers wanting to work in Malaysia but I suppose that is the drawback of dealing with such long-entrenched legacies from past governments according to the rule of law.

Malaysian industry desperately needs such workers to do so-called "dirty, demeaning and dangerous" jobs. which unemployed Malaysian graduates,including IT graduates, shy way from doing - preferring to drive taxis for a living instead.

So the good Human Resources Minister, has quite literally begged the Nepal government to reverse its ban.

The Star of 28 July 2018 reports:-

thestar.com.my

Kulasegaran asks Nepal to ease ban on workers to Malaysia while solution worked out - Nation

by allison lai

IPOH: The Human Resources Minister has called on the government of Nepal to go easy on the barring of its workers from coming to Malaysia.

M. Kulasegaran said that many industries here are dependent on foreign workers.

''We will try to find other mechanisms for their workers to come here. Otherwise there will be a severe shortage of workers in our country, leading to setbacks in progress.

''Nepalese workers are well-known for their bravery and honesty, and many Malaysian employers prefer to hire them.

''We hope that in the meantime, Nepal will go easy on the matter and reconsider (their decision),'' he told the press, after closing the national-level Workplace Accident Free Week at the Malay-Sino Chemical Industries Sdn Bhd here Saturday (July 28).

It was reported in The Star today that the government of Nepal has barred its workers from coming to Malaysia with immediate effect because it was unhappy with "restrictive" Malaysian immigration requirements for its workers before they can be employed.

This includes going through a private company "monopoly" for security and medical check-ups as part of the visa requirement.

Kulasegaran said that he was aware of the problems in hiring foreign workers involving a third-party company and the high charges imposed.

''All these (problems) were approved during the previous (Barisan Nasional) government and we are looking into how to overcome this.

''In fact, the Cabinet had discussed this matter earlier and I will prepare a paper in the coming week to call for immediate action,'' he said.

Kulasegaran also noted the Government has been engaging Nepalese government officials in the last two weeks to resolve the matter.

''I will contact the (Nepalese) High Commissioner on Monday,'' he said, adding that the Government would restore the system of hiring foreign workers back to the G2G (government-to-government) approach without any middlemen.


Also earlier on 28 July 2018, The Star reported in greater detail about the issues which Nepali workers and the Nepal government are unhappy about:-

thestar.com.my

Foreign Workers: Nepal slams the door, unhappy with company monopoly - Nation

by elan perumal

PETALING JAYA: The government of Nepal has barred its workers from coming to Malaysia with immediate effect.

The move comes as the Nepalese government expressed its unhappiness with "restrictive" immigration requirements its workers faced before they can be gainfully employed in this country. This includes having to go through a private company for security and medical check-ups as part of the visa requirement.

Nepal Embassy labour attache Sanmaya Ramtel confirmed that her government has indefinitely barred its citizens from seeking employment in Malaysia. The official told The Star that the government had identified several discrepancies in the recruitment process of migrant workers in Malaysia.

"The Nepalese government does not understand why the Malaysian Government is allowing a private company to monopolise the recruitment process.

"The government also feels that the company's presence is a virtual monopoly as other companies are not allowed to carry out the screening and this contributes to higher cost for the workers," she said.

Malaysia, the official said, was among the top two destinations for Nepalese migrant workers seeking job opportunities outside their country.

Furthermore, she said, the Gurkas from Nepal were the only category of foreign workers sought by Malaysia to work in the security line.

"This has been a long-standing dispute between the Nepalese and Malaysian governments.

"However, the change of government in Nepal which took place in February this year saw the new government taking a firm stand on the matter," Sanmaya said.

A source from the recruitment industry told The Star that employers are now having difficulty hiring Nepali workers.

The source said the issue was over the involvement of Bestinet Sdn Bhd, which is the sole party that carries out bio-medical screening for migrant workers entering Malaysia.

It is learnt that there are currently more than 500,000 Nepalese workers in Malaysia. About 150,000 of them are hired as security guards, while the rest are involved in construction and manufacturing.

After Indonesia, Nepal is also the main supplier of migrant workers to Malaysia.

Onlinekhabar, a Nepalese news portal, reported that the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security would not stop workers who are at the final stages of obtaining labour permits from flying to Malaysia.

Chirara Kannan, the owner of a consultancy service for employers, said Nepalese workers had stopped coming to Malaysia because of their government's stand against the Malaysian Government's policy which required migrant workers to go through Bestinet.

"The decision means migrant workers from Nepal cannot be hired by Malaysian employers since our government has endorsed Bestinet," he said.

"Without bio-medical screening – a prerequisite for foreign workers – foreigners cannot be employed in Malaysia," he said.

Chirara, however, said the Nepalese government felt that medical screening could be done without Bestinet.

"They feel Bestinet is a company created to monopolise the industry," he added.

An employer who declined to be identified said the situation had affected him badly because he had exhausted the quota to bring in workers from other countries including Bangladesh and India.

He said he had about 3,000 foreign workers in his factories and required about 1,000 more foreign workers.

"I have sufficient quota to hire Nepalese workers but am unable to do so due to the Nepalese government's stand," he said.

He added that the demand for Nepalese workers was also due to their good work ethics reputation.

This new development comes after The Star reported in June that Bangladeshi workers were forced to pay exorbitant amounts of money to their agents, including a syndicate which is linked to a Bangladeshi businessman with a Datuk Seri title, who is residing in Malaysia.

In an immediate response, a Bestinet spokesman said that there were 37 medical centres in Nepal accredited to perform the bio-medical screening.

These were identified, audited and selected based on their capabilities and medical facilities available, which allow medical results to be integrated and uploaded to the system in real time to the respective stakeholders (ie Malaysian Em­­bassy, Malaysian Immigration and Employers) as a compliance requirement before approvals are given.

"Such requirements are important to ensure the medical results are examined by medical practitioners following Malaysian requirements.

"Bestinet only collects RM100 for the bio-medical system which was approved by the Government, and other charges are collected by other service providers.

"We would like to state that ISC (Immigration Security Clearance), VLN (Visa Luar Negara), OSC (One Stop Centre) services are not provided by Bestinet and Bestinet is not related to the providers of these services and any Kathmandu-based agents," the spokesman said.

He added that the company welcomed the Government's intent to set up a committee to conduct a thorough review into all systems and service providers related to the recruitment and management of foreign workers.


Well, let us see how soon the Malaysian government will resolve this issue and revert to hiring of Nepali workers in Malaysia on a government-to-government basis, whilst cutting out middlemen.

And, Heck! With Malaysia's very much touted e-government over all these years and all the talk about the adoption of Enterprise Architecture-based framework, protocols and policies (1GovEA) across the information systems, business processes, work and operational culture across all Malaysian government Ministries, departments and agencies, it should be just as easy as filing their tax return, for intending Malaysian employers to apply for permission to hire foreign workers and for their work permits online and transparently through the e-government system.

Perhaps "1GovEA" sounds too "Najib Era", so the Pakatan government may want to change it to "2GovEA".

However, remember that the Roman Empire declined and fell because Roman citizens became too comfortable and lazy, and increasingly relied on foreign workers - well slaves brought from vassal states across the empire, whilst the Romans indulged themselves in entertainment such as spectator sports such as watching fights to the death by gladiators in arenas, wining and dining their lives away.

Whilst Malaysia no longer has chattel slaves, however we have become increasingly dependent on foreign workers - i.e. indentured wage slaves to do things for us, whilst Malaysians go around, faces buried in their smartphones all day or watching mindless wrestling matches, soccer and mindless American action movies on large screen TVs in 24-hour eateries, including those which wash their dishes with toilet bowl water.

This is our road to decadence and decline.

Yours truly

POLITISCHEISS

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

SO DOES MALAYSIA HAVE A DYSFUNCTIONAL DEMOCRACY?

Following the 2008 general elections, some prominent political bloggers got elected as members of parliament and the media showed them blogging from their seats in parliament.

However, now we have a situation where elected members of parliament, including some cabinet ministers and their deputy ministers don't attend parliament, to the extent that parliament could not proceed for a while due to lack of quorum.

I suppose Malaysian voted for a dysfunctional democracy on 9th May 2018, whilst:-

The ringgit continues to depreciate against the U.S. dollar
https://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=USD&to=MYR&view=1Y

Relations between Malaysia and Singapore are expected to cool. "The research house expects Mahathir’s administration to be more confrontational towards Singapore, marking a shift in relations, which had been friendly under the leadership of Malaysia’s previous prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak." https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2018/07/25/malaysia-singapore-ties-expected-to-cool-in-near-future/

The Statistics Department has predicted that growth in Malaysia's economy is expected to slow down over the next few months.
"KUALA LUMPUR (July 23): The Statistics Department has cautioned that Malaysia’s economy is expected to grow slower in the next four to six months, between September and November."
http://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/msia-economy-contract-between-sept-and-nov-says-stats-dept

Nett foreign funds inflow into the Bursa Malaysia - i.e. the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange throught most of 2017
https://www.malaysiastock.biz/Market-Statistic.aspx?m=2017

...turned into a nett outflow of foreign funds after the 9th May 2018 general elections
https://www.malaysiastock.biz/Market-Statistic.aspx?m=2018

..and a nett weekly outflow of foreign funds each week over the past eight weeks
https://www.malaysiastock.biz/Market-Statistic.aspx?m=w

..and a nett daily outflow of foreign funds from Bursa Malaysia in six out of the past seven days.
https://www.malaysiastock.biz/Market-Statistic.aspx?m=d

Bloomberg seems to believe that Malaysia stands to lose a lot in terms of trade, investments, tourism, the Malaysia my second home programme and property sales by suspending further construction of the East Coast Rail Link.
https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/07/25/malaysias-problem-how-to-cut-a-better-economic-deal-with-china/

Meanwhile, Malaysia wants to have a women-friendly sports complex in three years.
https://www.malaymail.com/s/1655793/malaysia-to-have-women-friendly-sports-complex-in-three-years-minister-says

Meanwhile, crowdfunding from generous Malaysians concerned over Malaysia's supposed RM1 trillion debt have donated a total of RM10 million into the Tabung Harapan (Fund of Hope) to help Malaysia pay off the debt.
https://www.malaymail.com/s/1655836/Finance-Ministry-says-over-RM10m-for-Tabung-Harapan-from-donors-abroad

It looks like Malaysia is pretty screwed right now but we voted for it, so have to live with it.

Anyway, The Star's report on Wednesday 25th July 2018 follows below.

thestar.com.my

Many MPs missing in action - Nation


3-4 minutes
KUALA LUMPUR: They worked long and hard during an often intense 14th General Election campaign to win seats in the Dewan Rakyat, yet some MPs are apparently finding it a challenge to attend the daily meetings in the august House. And it is only the second day of the second week of the new Parliament.

A day after the Prime Minister expressed dissatisfaction over the attendance of ministers and their deputies in Parliament, the Dewan Rakyat was forced to halt proceedings temporarily yesterday due to a lack of quorum.

Although the delay only lasted several minutes, it was widely shared on social media.

Some people were dismayed by the episode, while others were willing to accept that some of the MPs could have been very busy with other responsibilities, including their jobs in the ministries.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohamad Arrif Md Yusof had ordered the House to stand down after Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi (PBB-Kapit) noted that there was not enough MPs present.

“There are no ministers or deputy ministers in the House, so can we proceed as there is a lack of quorum?” Alexander asked when the House resumed at 2.30pm after the lunch break.

Mohamad Ariff took note of the Sarawak MP’s observation and stopped proceedings. The bell was rung for two minutes to prompt lawmakers elsewhere in the Parliament building to enter the Dewan.

The proceedings resumed after Mohamad Ariff announced that there were 35 MPs in the hall.

Poor turnout: Photos posted on Twitter by Annuar showing a nearly empty Dewan Rakyat.

Poor turnout: Photos posted on Twitter by Annuar showing a nearly empty Dewan Rakyat.


Under Standing Orders 13, there must be at least 26 MPs in the 222-seat Dewan to allow proceedings to be held.

It is understood that some MPs had attended the funeral of Bala­kong assemblyman Eddie Ng yesterday.

Pictures tweeted by Tan Sri Ann­uar Musa (BN-Ketereh) at various times showed an almost empty hall.

On Monday, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had exp­ressed his dissatisfaction over the attendance of his Cabinet members and their deputies in Parliament.

He said ministers and deputy ministers should improve on their attendance records or have valid reasons if they cannot make it.

Last week, Khairy Jamaluddin (BN-Rembau) also questioned why the Government’s front bench was empty during the motion of thanks on the Royal Address.

“Not even a single Cabinet Min­ister in the Dewan Rakyat to listen to the Opposition leader’s speech,” the Rembau MP had tweeted.

Facebook user Afiq Ghazali said the ministers were working hard as the country’s debt was RM1 trillion.

But another user, Iskandar Suw, pointed out that not all MPs had ministerial duties.

“Other MPs should put their commitment in Parliament and bring the rakyat’s issues there,” he said.

Jasper Dasper suggested that allowances of absent MPs be cut and demerit points be given for “absence without solid reasons”.

Former minister Tan Sri Rais Yatim shared a similar view in a tweet, adding that another measure could be the publication of the names of “lazy” MPs in newspapers or on social media.

https://www.thestar.com.my/new
Yours trully

Politischeiss
http://politischeiss.blogspot.com/



s/nation/2018/07/25/many-mps-missing-in-action-social-media-abuzz-after-lack-of-quorum-leads-to-dewan-rakyat-delay/


Saturday, 21 July 2018

FOR ONCE I CAN AGREE WITH WAN SAIFUL WAN JAN ON NGOs BEING IN THEIR BANGSAR BUBBLE

I have never been a fan of Wan Saiful Wan Jan, founder the neo-liberal think tank, the Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) and its chief executive officer (CEO) until he stepped down to become a politician shortly before Malaysia's last general elections in May 2018.

Neo-liberal capitalism, globalisation, open borders and privatisation has had its most damaging and exploitative effects on the working class in countries around the world and has only enabled giant corporations in the U.S. and imperialist western nations to buy up and gain control of the economies of economically and technologically weaker, less developed nations, especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as in Eastern and Southern Europe - taking over their public utilities, telecommunication utilities, railways, banks, resources and so forth, whilst preaching "democracy". "individual freedom", "free press", "free speech", "human rights" and so forth, in what is be SUGAR-COATED NEO-COLONIALISM WITH A SMILING FACE.

Many amongst the educated, English-literate, quite often overseas educated, urban, generally pro-Pakatan Harapan middle class looked upon the neo-liberal IDEAS and Wan Saiful Wan Jan as if he were Moses, having descendeth from the mountain, tablets with divine inscriptions in hand.

However, on this occasion,  Wan Saiful Wan Jan is saying what I have oftentimes said about the various pro-Pakatan or anti-BN non governmental organisations (NGOs), about Pakatan Rakyat and now Pakatan Harapan parties, especially DAP and PKR, whose support base is primarily amongst the educated, English-literate, quite often overseas educated, urban middle-class.

In his article below, Wan Saiful Wan Jan criticises his own cohorts at an event hosted by the non-profit G25 at the  exclusive Bukit Kiara Equestrian & Country Club in Kuala Lumpur, that they should get out of what he calls their Bangsar Bubble - an echo chamber in which the converted preach to the converted, and to roll up their sleeves and come down into the real world to connect with and put their message across to poor people in the remote areas or the lower income working poor in places such as Kerinchi in Kuala Lumpur and to try and understand their problems.

So on this occasion - kudos to you, Wan Saiful Wan Jan, for saying what I had been saying all along about why Pakatan politicians have never been able to swing the rural and low income urban vote behind them, then blame 40,000 Bangladeshis being flown in on 100 Boeing 747's to illegally vote for BN in the 2013 general elections.

In the run up to the 2018 general elections some commentator on social media claimed that an Antonov 225 cargo aircraft which landed in KLIA was there to fly in 40,000 Bangladeshis to illegally vote for BN. Whilst being the largest aircraft in the world today, with a maximum payload of 551,150 pounds (249.997 kilogrammes), each Bangladeshi would have had to have weighed 6.249 kilogrammes - the weight of a newly born baby.

So if that Antonov 225 were to fly in 40,000 Bangladeshis to illegally vote for BN, those 40,000 voters would have had to be 40,000 newly born Bangladeshi babies.

Now do you see how ignorant and mentally lazy social media "politicians" are - with their faces buried in their smartphones with no initiative to question what they receive on their smartphones and to do some research into the validity of the information they receive.

"They did it in the last general elections" - I hear you say.

Yes Pakatan got enough votes of rural and urban lower income voters to win the seats because Tun Dr. Mahathir, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin and their Pribumi party became a part of the Pakatan Harapan pact and brought along the votes of their loyalists amongst rural and lower income urban voters who in earlier elections had voted for UMNO/BN.

Take a look at the proportion of votes received by the winning candidate of parliamentary seats in Selangor state and you can see that Muslimin Yahaya of Pakatan pact party PKR won Sungai Besar with 36.5% of the votes, just 1.5 percentage points more than the nearest rival Budiman Mohd Zohdi (BN - UMNO) who got 34.1% of the votes - in a three-cornered contest with Mohamed Salleh M Husin of PAS which came a distant third with 14.8% of the vote in Sungai Besar - a ethnic Malay-majority constituency with 68.71% Malay population.

The parliamentary seat of Sabak Bernam in Selangor is a constituency which is 83.05% ethnic Malay and which has been won by the Alliance (the BN's predecessor) and by the BN since independence and in one-to-one contests between UMNO/BN and PKR/Pakatan and PKR's predecessor Keadilan. UMNO/BN consistently won Sabak Bernam with majorities ranging from 51.98% to as high as 61.99%. In the 2013 general elections UMNO/BN won Sabak Bernam with a majority of 53.04% in  one-on-one contest against PKR.

In a three cornered fight between UMNO/BN, Pribumi (Mahathir's party) and PAS (Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party), UMNO/BN held Sabak Bernam with 31.5% of the vote, Pribumi got 27.4% of the vote and PAS 22.8%, in short UMNO/BN won Sabak Bernam with the largest minority of votes in the May 2018 general elections whilst it had won Sabak Bernam with over 51% of the votes in two-cornered fights in previous general elections since independence.

In the 2013 general elections, PAS was part of the Pakatan Rakyat pact, the predecessor of Pakatan Harapan today, but in the 2018 general elections, PAS was on its own and not part of Pakatan Harapan, whilst Pribumi and Amanah (a PAS breakway) are members.

So the respective results of  voting in Sabak Bernam in the 2018 general elections reveal the extent of support PAS still has there as well as the extent of support for Mahathir and his party there and the split between the Mahathir loyalists within UMNO and remaining UMNO loyalists. Amanah supporters would have voted for Pribumi because it is part of the same Paktan Harapan pact as Amanah and whilst UMNO/BN held Sabak Bernam despite all that by a 4.1 percentage points margin, all the effects of three or more way contests.

The results of votes in Sungai Besar in 2018 show how fragile the wafer-thin margin of 1.1 percentage points in PKR/Pakatan's favour could be lost in the next general elections if the vote in Sungai Besar swings back to UMNO/BN.   

https://election.thestar.com.my/selangor.html

And

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabak_Bernam_(federal_constituency)

Wan Saiful Wan Jan understand this well and warns his educated, English-literate, quite often overseas educated, urban, generally pro-Pakatan Harapan middle class cohorts to get off their high horses, out of their ivory towers and out of their Bangsar Bubble echo chamber and experience reality on the ground.

I say this as one of Wan Saiful Wan Jan's educated, English-literate, overseas educated, urban, middle class, born with a silver spoon in my mouth cohorts myself.

To those stupid Pakatoons who will accuse me of being an "UMNO/BN stooge" or a "dedak eater" (chicken feed dater), please be informed that I am an independent thinker, with some brains, who regards myself as part of the incoherent and very much fragmented "Third Force", independent of and not beholden to the Barisan Nasional nor the Pakatan Harapan.

And even now, I still am no fan of Wan Saiful Wan Jan but concur with him on this one point of NGOs in the Bangsar Bubble, albeit from the opposite end of the political spectrum from him.

The Malay Mail article follows below.

malaymail.com

Don’t just promote reform in ‘Bangsar bubble’, Wan Saiful tells NGOs | Malaysia


12-15 minutes


PPBM's Wan Saiful Wan Jan speaks during the G25 forum on Political Financing Reforms in Kuala Lumpur July 21, 2018. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif
PPBM's Wan Saiful Wan Jan speaks during the G25 forum on Political Financing Reforms in Kuala Lumpur July 21, 2018. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, July 21 — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia political secretary Wan Saiful Wan Jan told civil society groups championing political financing reform to get a dose of reality by visiting villages instead of remaining in upper middle class urban areas.

At a forum on political financing reforms organised by non-profit group G25 at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian & Country Club here, Wan Saiful observed that in Malaysia, civil society tends to preach to converts mainly in urban areas, instead of educating rural Malaysians on why they should not rely on political patronage.

“Politicians are reluctant to change (and be more transparent regarding political funding) because civil society failed to change society. We organise events like this in Bukit Kiara but we do not take it to Pendang or rural areas,” said Wan Saiful.

He said within two months of joining politics, he immediately thought of a “much bigger world than the Bangsar bubble”.

“While we move forward and keep pressure on PH so it remains on track, members of civil society must recognise the elements of hypocrisy in ourselves. We are brave to lobby people in Putrajaya but not in Pendang, Arau,” said Wan Saiful.

He said civil society and politicians must take the political financing reform agenda to the grassroots so that politicians can focus on legislation, instead of being pressured to do “charity work”.     

“The more we are talking ourselves and be happy holding events in Bukit Kiara instead of Pendang, Arau, or even Kerinchi... we will continue to talk to ourselves and no one will understand us since the people (at the) grassroot (level) don’t have access to media like we have,” he added.

“The access to the media means we are loud and we put pressure on the government to change but this is a failure of civil society to understand (the realities) for politicians on the ground,” said the rookie politician who failed to win the Pendang federal seat in Kedah during the last elections.

In his maiden run for office, Wan Saiful came in behind Umno and PAS in the race for Pendang in the 14th general election, polling 14,901 votes to Umno’s 20,728 and to PAS’ 26,536 votes.

Money needed to assist impoverished constituents

Wan Saiful admitted to sharing civil society’s naivete prior to leaving his position as CEO at the Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) to become a politician, but his experience on the campaign trail has opened up his eyes.

His time in the Malay heartland of Kedah saw impoverished families unable to pay for basic medical needs, leading to family members suffering from infected open wounds and scars, as well as a wife who was forced to cage her mentally ill husband among others.

“I saw an 80-year-old grandmother who lived in a traditional split-level Malay kampung house. Her kitchen is on the ground floor and she lives on the first floor. She is old (and lives alone). She has to crawl up and down the stairs in order to get things from the kitchen.

“When I saw her, she was crying that she only gets RM200 a month from the Welfare Department and was crying, begging me to increase her welfare to RM300 a month if I was elected.

“She just wanted RM300 a month and here in KL, RM300 is lunch for some people,” said Wan Saiful, who had promised during campaigning to find the means to help the impoverished by canvassing companies, businessmen and the public for funds to help those in his constituencies.

Elaborating further, he said this was why many politicians needed a lot of money to service their constituents and it would be even more expensive for someone who lost the race when compared to the victor, since MPs and assemblymen received federal level funding while the losers did not.

BN’s vindictive political culture drove Opposition politicians to secrecy

He explained that under the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government, things were even worse for the Opposition since the ruling government played vindictive politics and would go after Pakatan Harapan (PH) funders and donors such as Supermax CEO Stanley Thai.

In order to protect their financial resources, then Opposition politicians had no choice but to remain tight-lipped on the source of their fundings.

“When I joined politics, I had to resign from all posts I had, including IDEAS. The reason I resigned was if I stayed in IDEAS, IDEAS would be victimised because politics (in Malaysia) is so vindictive.

“IDEAS is [an] organisation I built for eight years and IDEAS had to distance themselves from me the moment I left. It was painful for me to see, but that’s the reality of Malaysian politics. You take big risk in joining an opposition party (back then).

“The vindictiveness of Umno and BN under Najib’s rule made people like me and my donors really cautious about disclosing who is funding our political work,” he explained, referring to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Elections are very expensive

Wan Saiful also said election campaigns itself is an expensive affair since he had spent nearly RM200,000 when he contested the May 9 poll.

He explained that he spent RM50,000 on 5,000 T-shirts, RM50,000 on party flags, RM15,000 on renting five houses for his workers accommodation and storage of campaign materials, RM6,000 to rent two Toyota Hilux for three and a half weeks, and also paying his workers.

“Consider contesting in area where source of income is rubber or rice. You need to appreciate you are pulling them out from daily work they do (to help you campaign).

“Do you know how much scrap rubber sells for? RM1.80 per kg. 100kg = RM180. To get 100 kg, [they] need to work for a week. That’s if they’re lucky. If it rains, they have no income. So if you need their help to put up flags, you need to appreciate the time they took off their work.

“You need to buy them food, drinks, accommodation and appreciate how much they are helping you,” he said. That’s why it’s so expensive to run a campaign. Even after losing you still need people to help you run the show if you are outstation,” Wan Saiful explained.

At the end of his turn during the forum, Wan Saiful invited members of civil society to join him in educating and engaging with rural Malaysians on political financial reforms.

https://www.malaymail.com/s/1654558/dont-just-promote-reform-in-bangsar-bubble-wan-saiful-tells-ngos
------ END -------

Yours truly


Politischeiss
http://politischeiss.blogspot.com/