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Press Statement by Lim Guan Eng in Penang on Tuesday, 12nd August 2008: 

The Kuala Lumpur High Court judgment ordering UMNO to pay RM 218 million for 2004 general elections campaign materials exceeds the 2004 general election spending limit of RM 94.3 million at the maximum RM 200,000 per parliamentary constituency and RM 100,000 per state constituency  

The Kuala Lumpur High Court judgment ordering UMNO to pay RM 218 Million for 2004 general elections campaign materials exceeds the 2004 general election spending limit of RM 94.3 Million at the maximum of RM 200,000 per parliamentary constituency and RM 100,000 per state constituency. Under section 19 of the Election Offences Act 1954, a candidate for every Parliamentary and state constituency can not spend more than RM 200,000 and RM 100,000 respectively.

UMNO had claimed that the campaign materials were for BN and had nothing to do with UMNO. With 219 parliamentary seats and 505 state seats contested in the 2004 general elections, this means that a party like BN that contested all seats can not spend more than RM 94.3 million or else BNís victories are illegal. With RM 218 million spent whether by BN or UMNO on campaign materials alone, this is more than double the legally permitted amount.

Spending above limits imposed by the Elections Offences Act 1954 is an illegal practice under Section 27 and is subject to a fine of RM 5,000 by the Sessions Court, disqualification as a wakil rakyat and removal of rights as a voter. However such laws are marked more by its breach than its compliance.

This may now be an academic question since the 2004 general elections has been superseded by the 2008 general elections. The Elections Commissionís failure to act and question the legality of the 2004 general election victories by BN government not only makes a mockery of the very election laws it has drafted but also the spirit of democracy that votes should not be bought and sold.


* Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief Minister & DAP Secretary-General