Malaysiakini reported that the Kuala Lumpur High Court had last month ordered UMNO to pay a whopping RM218 million claimed by Kelana Jaya based Elegant Advisory Sdn. Bhd. being payment for supplies of posters, badges, banners and caps during the March 2004 general elections, which UMNO had refused to pay.
The decision was a judgment in default delivered by High Court's Assistant Registrar Ahmad Faizadh Yahaya on 17 July 2008 after UMNO's lawyers failed to appear in court. The poll merchandise scandal was highlighted by Malaysiakini in a series of exclusive reports three months after the 2004 general elections, where Barisan Nasional won with a landslide victory.
In the suit, which was initiated by Elegant Advisory Sdn. Bhd. in June this year, the company had claimed a sum of RM218,013,475 as compensation from UMNO for the supply of the election campaign materials include posters, banners, buntings, flags, souvenirs, mineral waters and other transportation costs. The claim was made on the basis of Section 71 of the Contracts Act 1950 in which UMNO is obliged to pay the campaign materials to Elegant Advisory Sdn. Bhd.
UMNO's treasurer Abdul Azim Mohd Zabidi was named as the sole defendant on behalf of the party in the suit filed through Elegant Advisory's counsel, Termizi & Co. while UMNO was represented by Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak. "With the supply of these campaign materials to UMNO, UMNO has enjoyed the benefits from it when UMNO (as a Barisan Nasional component party) won the 11th General Elections with an overwhelming poll victory," said the statement of claim.
The company revealed UMNO had tried to settle the matter once by requesting a meeting with Elegant Advisory in September 2006 and this effort however failed as "no reasonable amount" was offered. Elegant Advisory said it had also tried to contact UMNO numerous times later to settle this matter, including sending e-mails to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi through his website, but to no avail.The company claimed as a result of the unsettled payment, it has suffered losses and jeopardised its business reputation among its suppliers. With UMNO's failure to make an appearance in court, the High Court on 17 July 2008 ordered the ruling party to pay Elegant Advisory the entire sum, with interest, as demanded by the company. Nevertheless, UMNO is now making effort to set aside the judgment in default by claiming that it was Barisan Nasional and not UMNO that ordered and used these items
Haah! Duit ni belum settle...ada hati nak kempen kat Permatang Pauh. Berapa pulak dilaburkan untuk beli perkakas bahan kempen pilihanraya kecil ini? nah satu lagi PROJEK KERAJAAN BARISAN NASIONAL untuk RAKYAT MALAYSIA khusus untuk Permatang Pauh!