KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 — Invoke Malaysia founder Rafizi Ramli trumpeted his big data-cum-volunteer organisation’s 95 success rate when it helped Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidates win in 42 seats in the 14th general election.
Rafizi said this was achieved after a total of RM11.2 million was spent over the past two years, with RM10.2 million from public contributions and RM1 million from his own pocket.
“Since November 2016, the Malaysian public had contributed RM10.2 million to Invoke. The majority of this was through the crowdfunding (RM7.3 million), but we also sold RM1.9 million’s worth of tickets to our fundraising events and RM1.0 millions’ worth of merchandise (mostly t-shirts and books),” he said in a statement last night.
Rafizi said Invoke used the RM11.2 million to build the capacity and fund the campaigns of 44 parliamentary candidates and 60 candidates in state seats (DUN) for the past two years.
“Pakatan Harapan won 42 out of the 44 parliamentary seats that received assistance from Invoke (either at the parliamentary level or at least one DUN seat in the parliamentary seat).
“It is a stunning 95 per cent success rate,” he said in his review of Invoke’s efforts a week after PH’s “historic win” in GE14.
Rafizi said the only two parliamentary seats where Invoke provided assistance but were not won by PH candidates are Padang Rengas and Sembrong which were won by Umno’s Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
Rafizi, who is also PKR vice-president, broke down the 42 seats, with three won by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Tambun, Muar, Simpang Renggam) and seven won by Parti Amanah Negara (Pokok Sena, Parit Buntar, Lumut, Kuala Selangor, Shah Alam, Hulu Langat, Temerloh).
The bulk of it at 32 seats were won by PKR (Kangar, Alor Setar, Kuala Kedah, Merbok, Padang Serai, Kulim Bandar Baru, Sungai Petani, Permatang Pauh, Bayan Baru, Balik Pulau, Nibong Tebal, Sungai Siput, Gopeng, Tanjung Malim, Hulu Selangor, Selayang, Pandan, Kapar, Kuala Langat, Lembah Pantai, Wangsa Maju, Setiawangsa, Port Dickson, Tangga Batu, Segamat, Sekijang, Ledang, Batu Pahat, Pasir Gudang, Johor Bahru, Kuantan and Indera Mahkota).
Prospective GE14 candidates were asked to publicly declare their assets last November and this March ahead of the general elections, in order to receive campaign help from Invoke and in what Rafizi had said was a bid to kickstart a change in Malaysia’s political culture.
These 64 individuals, who were asked to sign contracts to pay RM20 million to a public fund by Invoke if they switch parties after winning, are listed on Invoke’s website along with the declaration of their assets.
Thousands of volunteers and hours
In the same note, Rafizi thanked Malaysians who had participated and contributed to Invoke Malaysia becoming what he said was the “largest election volunteer organisation of its kind” in South-east Asia.
He said Invoke had 40,949 volunteers nationwide, where 25,915 offered themselves as polling and counting agents (PACAs) to prevent electoral fraud and monitor the election process throughout the country.
While Invoke’s records show only 5,844 PACAs submitted their details through its online system, Rafizi said he believed many more went directly to their candidates to serve as their PACAs.
Invoke had trained thousands of PACAs nationwide in a little over a year, he said.
Rafizi said Invoke volunteers had as of last week clocked in 25,612 hours of campaigning (since they first started tracking the time spent last March), including 7,861 hours for PACA training, 7,689 hours spent making phone calls to identified fence-sitters to persuade them to vote for PH and 4,856 hours of canvassing door-to-door for support.
“The credit for the whole success of Invoke goes to the Malaysian public who gave my team the trust we needed,” he said.
Noting that it took almost a year before Invoke hit the critical number of volunteers who believed in its election campaign methods of calling fence-sitters and doing door-to-door visits, Rafizi said Malaysians are not used to direct persuasion and even less so when it comes to discussing politics with strangers.
“But many thousands of volunteers had braved this cultural block to persuade thousands of identified fence-sitters around the country to vote PH, over the course of the last two years,” he said.
“It is therefore only proper that I thank everyone who had contributed immensely to this historic success,” he said, also acknowledging his team of over 100 young Malaysians mostly aged 23 to 27 who had quit their jobs to join Invoke since August 2016.
In GE14, BN lost federal power for the first time in history, while PH and its ally Parti Warisan Sabah achieved the simple majority required to form government.