May 6, 2013

Did the cash dividend help the ruling party of Malaysia to maintain its power?

Amid the fierce contest between the ruling Barisan National and the opposition Pakatan Rakyat, did the cash dividend (BR1M)  given to millions of households and individuals help Barisan National to retain power in GE13?

It is tempting to think that BR1M has helped. Although the degree of help is uncertain.

There was quite a lot of news of voters grateful for the cash dividend. For example, see BR1M is timely aid for needy and
Retirees grateful to govt for BR1M 2.0

"I am grateful to the Barisan Nasional (BN) government for their tireless efforts to lighten the people's burden," said retiree Cheong Koon Huat, 63.
The Bukit Beruang resident said Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) 2.0 was the best means of aiding households which made less than RM3,000 a month.
"The RM500 aid being given out shows that the government is aware that there are still many who need help and is trying its best to do so," he said yesterday.
Factory worker Abdul Rahim Abu, 44, from Bukit Katil, said BR1M proved that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was dedicated in his calls for transformation.

A similar effect can be seen in the elections of of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.
"Hugo Chavez, the man who built his powerful persona on a populist platform of sharing Venezuela's vast oil wealth with the poor and disenfranchised, leaves his nation with a greater distribution of cash to the poor." (From here)
It is highly likely that cash distribution can enhance voter support. Politicians in many countries are already using this weapon.

Voters and politicians should take note of this.

Let us all evolve to citizen-ownership democracies.

I have one more advice for voters: Do not settle for a few hundred dollars when you rightfully deserve thousands of dollars.

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