Wednesday, December 1, 2021

DAP spends big on FB ads as online campaign heats up for Melaka

Of the RM150,000 spent on Facebook advertisements for the election, some RM60,000 came from DAP.

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DAP has emerged as the biggest spender for advertisements on Facebook ahead of the Melaka state election, according to a group which has been observing and collecting data on the current campaign.

Kuasa said data from Facebook Ads for Nov 9 to 15 showed that a total of RM150,000 had been spent on ads, of which over RM60,000 was by DAP through its two Facebook accounts – Democratic Action Party and DAP Malaysia.

RM37,851 was spent on the former while RM23,896 was spent on DAP’s Mandarin-language “Rocket” account.

“It’s easy to know that this is DAP’s as they spend in a central manner, concluding their Facebook advertising expenditure as a whole,” Kuasa president Praba Ganesan told MalaysiaNow.

When asked about the expenditure of other parties for this purpose, Praba said this is difficult to determine as many of them campaign using their individual Facebook accounts.

“For example, Amanah uses Adly Zahari’s Facebook account, spending RM23,312, while Perikatan Nasional Melaka is registered under Nur Hayati Hassan, with an expenditure of RM5,562,” he said.

“Nevertheless, the added amount is still less than what DAP spent.”

He added that spending on Facebook advertising is expected to increase over the remainder of the campaign period.

He said the sudden increase in advertising fees for Facebook ads in Melaka further confirmed that the expenses are in conjunction with the Melaka state election.

“Facebook ads in Melaka recorded a collection of RM150,000 – a big increase compared to other states,” he said.

“In second place is Selangor, with just RM12,000.”

A total of 112 candidates are contesting the Melaka election, which was sparked by the dissolution of the state legislative assembly after Chief Minister Sulaiman Md Ali of Umno lost his majority support.

Face-to-face campaigning has been banned under Covid-19 health SOPs, with parties encouraged to campaign online instead.

Praba said it might be difficult for Barisan Nasional to win the election despite its strong support base in the state.

“For example, the Tanjung Bidara seat in the Masjid Tanah parliamentary constituency is seen as an Umno stronghold, but Mas Ermieyati Shamsuddin will definitely put up a strong fight there,” he said.

“Mas Ermieyati is an MP and a Bersatu division chief in addition to being a former Puteri Umno chief. She can be expected to have strong influence in the area, and it’s possible that she will defeat Umno’s candidate, Ab Rauf Yusoh.”

Praba said the instability in Umno itself, led by its president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and those who are unsatisfied with Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) achievements, would also give PN the edge in Melaka.

“Both the PH and Umno administrations collapsed within three years. Voters might decide to give Bersatu a chance instead,” he said.

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