Opposition using Internet to raise funds

NST: 03 March, 2008
By Eileen Ng

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition candidates are now using the Internet to solicit funds for their election campaigns. While donation boxes are still de rigueur at fund-raising events, DAP’s Tony Pua said e-donation was a new way for the party to raise funds.
“Previously, we obtained funds through conventional means such as ceramah and dinners.
“The Internet is now another important channel which has helped us tremendously to get more funds,” said the Petaling Jaya Utara parliamentary candidate.
Through their joint website, he said, DAP’s Petaling Jaya candidates had collected more than RM10,000 via credit card and online transfers, while another RM20,000 was banked into their Maybank2U account.
Their target is to raise 50 per cent of the amount that election candidates are legally permitted to spend.
The law stipulates that parliamentary and state candidates may spend up to RM200,000 and RM100,000 respectively.
“From the look of things, we are not likely to reach our target but we are happy with the amount collected so far.”
He added that conventional fund-raising methods were still yielding better results.
They have managed to collect some RM45,000 from over five nights of ceramah.
Another candidate embracing this new fund-raising method is newcomer Badrul Hisham Shaharin, a candidate from Parti Keadilan Rakyat.
He said online fund-raising will enable those from outstation and overseas to show their support for him in his maiden attempt.
He is taking on Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin for the Rembau parliamentary seat.
“I cannot solicit funds via ceramah as most of the Rembau constituents are not well-to-do.”
He has collected RM21,000 so far through his blog — far below his expenses of RM40,000 to date.
Even conservative Pas has jumped on the online fund-raising bandwagon.
Pas treasurer Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli said this was the first time the party was soliciting funds online.
“It is not as successful as we would have liked, but at least we are trying,” he said.