Friday, November 30, 2007

Viagra For Votes In Thai Elections. But Our Rakyat Have More Exacting Demands

Vote-buying is an old practice in Thai politics, but one candidate for December's Thai election has reportedly come up with a new tactic - handing out Viagra instead of cash.

The allegation, made Thursday by a campaign worker against a rival party, comes as rules about handing out favors to voters have become stricter than ever, barring even the distribution of free T-shirts and soft drinks.


Sayan Nopcha, a campaigner for the People's Power Party in Pathum Thai province just north of Bangkok, said the drug used to treat sexual dysfunction in men was being distributed to elderly male voters at social functions.
Viagra is supposed to be used only on a doctor's advice, but is generally available over the counter in Thailand. "The politician is giving out Viagra to gain popularity and votes," said Sayan, a local government official whose older brother is the PPP candidate. "I think this is a very bad way of vote-buying."

He would not identify the candidate who allegedly handed out the pills. Under a tough new law, both the supplier and recipient of vote-buying can face criminal charges. Candidates can be disqualified and their party disbanded, as was the case with the old law, while voters who accept money or gifts can now face from one to 10 years in prison.

More than 4,200 candidates from 41 parties are competing for 480 seats in the lower house of parliament in the Dec. 23 polls - the first to be held after a bloodless military coup ousted elected Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in September last year. (CNN)

***** Perhaps the Thai voter can be bought over with a few strips of Viagra. But in our Tongkat Ali land, the discerning voter has stiffer requirements. For party elections, especially Umno's, the standard 'incentive' is cash, huge piles of it. Apart from that there are the inevitable lawatan sambil belajar to Haadyai, Medan etc where only God knows the education matlamat which our voters are so keen and eager to fulfil.

For state and general elections, more so for by-elections, the booty gets extremely huge with pristinely clean tarred roads, street lights, generous donations for new suraus and Chinese school renovations, promises of more universities with silly acronyms, unrealistic proposals to build 'international' airports in kampung areas and not forgetting suitcases filled with legal tender for 'development programmes'.

And in the near future, fitted into the campaign strategy will be that mega carrot called shares and commissions from the various economic 'corridors'.

But I must commend the Thai election authorities for strictly implementing the provision that
both the supplier and recipient of vote-buying will face criminal charges. If our Election Commission were to be equally strict, we probably would have to spend a large portion of our national budget constructing thousands of prisons to accommodate millions of Umno members from the top leadership to the ahli cawangan. But that is not about to happen in our 'democratic' country, is it?

As those in the know keep saying, "Malaysia still and always Boleh"!
Image - Source

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

EC be fair? The tiltee dacing is now in the process of changing teh Constitution just to accomodate the present headhoncho to oversee the forthcoming election. A friendly EC chief as further insurance?
no, my view is that no matter what, the tilted and corrupted dacing will still win hands down. Juts cant figure out their insecurity.

1:42 PM GMT+8  
Blogger D'r kepler said...

FDA approved mens health medication viagra is not a drug to be taken lighliy you should read all about the pros and cons regarding the medication before you buy viagra!

3:29 AM GMT+8  

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