Kuala Terengganu… Buy-election

It ain't typo. It feels like an election that money can buy.

I am currently playing my little bit to campaign for Wahid Endut, the PAS candidate in the Kuala Terengganu parliament seat by-election. What locals told me was appalling, but I should leave it to Election Commission to investigate while I focussed on the ceramahs and walkabouts.

Apart from free dinner for 80 tables hosted by Gerakan, a top Umno Terengganu leader was said to have visited the markets with his entourage, buying a papaya for RM200 and the fruit-seller was allowed to keep the change.

Today, Anwar Ibrahim accused the BN government of vote-buying and coercion, quoting RM300 to RM400 per vote.

But locals told me the offering has since gone up to RM1,000 per vote.

Words also had it that the voter must use their mobile phone to capture the image of the ballot paper where a cross has been marked in favour of the BN candidate before he/she can collect the RM1,000 cash reward. This was said to be a tech-way of verifying true votes for BN as, in the past, the Opposition has been encouraging voters to simply take BN's cash but to vote the Opposition in.

Umno has come up with raffles to draw the crowd. Lucky draw prices include motorcycles and big TVs.

The BN is also flexing its money muscles by taking up advertisements in the East Coast edition (less than RM2000 per half-page B/W). To improve reach and exposure of the campaign ads, three different Chinese papers are given for every paper bought.

However, from what I can gather in the last 20 hours, sentiments of the Chinese voters have swung towards the PAS candidates. Key question now is whether PAS can edge out Umno in a mutual-cancelling scenario in vote canvassing.

Hudud Laws

One interesting thing. Hudud laws don't seem to cast an impact on the local Chinese. On the opposite, many have woken to question why the Chinese community in Jalan Bandar sanctuary was not given proper land titles for decades, and some had to renew their TOL on an annual basis.

Read more at:  http://www.jeffooi.com/2009/01/kuala_terengganu_buyelection.php