WHEN lawyer Taufik Basari visited constituents in his Jakarta district to distribute leaflets telling them why he deserved their vote, many asked him why the envelope was missing.
“Some residents opened the fold of the leaflet, expecting to find money, and asked ‘Pak, where is the envelope?’,” said the 37-year-old first-time legislative candidate for the National Democratic Party (NasDem). “They are still expecting cash or generous handouts of groceries. But I tell them, a political office is a mandate. That cannot be bought – it is priceless.”
His experience is not unusual. A recent survey by the Indikator Politik Indonesia found that four out of 10 Indonesians still find it acceptable for politicians to hand out money or staples like rice or oil, as part of campaigning.
… For the 2009 legislative election, each candidate spent an average of 2 billion rupiah, according to associate research fellow Fitri Bintang Timur and senior research analyst Adhi Priamarizki of Singapore think-tank, the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.
The total campaign spending declared by parties this time has risen to nearly a trillion rupiah, compared to 298 billion rupiah in 2004 and 826 billion rupiah in 2009, they added.
Last updated on 30/11/-0001