BN by-election campaign spending extravagant: Yong
It seems the Barisan Nasional (BN) will spend more on the Permatang Pauh by-election than the RM50 million the Government is spending on tackling the illegal immigrants woes inSabah and Labuan, according to SAPP President Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee. He said the national BN is already sending thousands of campaigners to Permatang Pauh, and knowing the extent and extravagance of BN campaigning, the costs will likely be in tens of millions of ringgit. The former Chief Minister said that Sabah BN alone has announced sending hundreds of people to Permatang Pauh in Penang. “Umno Sabah leaders, Youth, Wanita, Puteri and Putera and BN components such as PBS are lining up to impress their Federal leaders by diligently campaigning to ensure a BN victory. For many Umno divisional delegates, a trip to Permatang Pauh is also a joy trip for the ongoing party divisional election campaign,” said Yong in a statement yesterday. According to him the costs of travelling, accommodation, food and campaigning will definitely amount to millions of ringgit. “Where will this money come from?” Yong asked, adding that the money will not come from the national BN because the national BN is saddled with unpaid election bills of the 2004 general elections and it remained to be seen how the BN would settle the election debts ofthe March 2008 general elections. Yong said BN leaders must show that at a time when a large number of families in Sabah cannot afford an extra meal, as people are struggling with petrol prices, children foregoing tuition classes, sick people missing out on medical treatment, tenants worrying about overdue rentals and electricity bills, they still care enough to do something about the people’s livelihood. “We all know that the worst is yet to come. By year end, families will face the prospects of higher school bus fares and various expenses related to schooling. “Low income parents will have to make a heartbreaking choice of either to send their kids back to school or to let them work in a tough job market due to economic stagnation with more jobless people. Inflation will rise beyond 8% and ordinary people will have to forgo some basic necessities of life,” he said. On the part of SAPP, Yong said the party would only send a three cadre team to study the by-election for research purposes. “Our two MPs might spend the week end Parliament break to visit the constituency of Permatang Pauh with other MPs,” he added.