The Barisan Nasional (BN) is estimated to have spent at least RM1.05 million in print media advertising in the first three days since campaigning began, between Feb 25 and 27.
Conversely, according to a daily survey of 18 newspapers by Transparency International-Malaysia (TIM), opposition parties PAS, DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat have not taken out any print media ads.
According to the Election Offences Act 1954, a parliamentary candidate can only spend a maximum of RM200,000 while a state candidate only RM100,000 in total election campaign expenditure. This means the BN’s 222 parliamentary candidates and 504 state candidates for the 12th general election can collectively spend up to only RM94.8 million. The BN has already spent 1.11% of its permitted budget on ads from Feb 25 to 27.
TIM’s campaign expense monitoring is the first of its kind in a Malaysian general election, and will continue daily until the polls.