Saturday, July 21, 2012

Experience from Tony Pua vs Syabas Campaign

YB Tony Pua was sued for defamation by the Syabas and KL High Court has asked him to pay RM200k damages to Syabas plus the interest and all the cost incurred. ( 
With all that he is doing, there's really no reason that he should pay for fighting hard for the benefits of rakyat and voice out for us. Therefore, we (his assistants, interns and some in HQ)  have teamed up to raise fund for him to pay for this suit.  There were two separate campaigns we planned in order to raise this fund. One is a usual fund-raising dinner and the second one is a mass campaign with the theme of “RM1 for Water Rights: 100,000 Malaysians Support Tony Pua vs Syabas”. 
Since I run a social media business, I was put in-charge to run this mass campaign. This campaign run mainly online via Facebook and Twitter, and in several pasar malams at different PJ areas. In this campaign, we encouraged the public to chip-in as little as RM1 to this fund and our target was to collect RM100k within a month. 
I must admit here that before we started the campaign, although our target is RM100k, we were only expecting about RM30-40k. Reason is online donation for political party has never been done in such a big scale before, so we weren’t very sure how the public will respond to this kind of campaign. Yes, Malaysians may pay their bills online, some may also shop online, but donating to a political party? Hmm, we were not very sure. Nevertheless, we knew that we must run this mass campaign because we needed to tell as many people as possible about what’s is going on, the injustice that’s happening and the cause we are fighting for, that is for good quality and affordable water for people in Selangor. It wasn't only the monetary objective that we wanted to achieve, more importantly we wanted to create awareness among the public about the Syabas issues. Maybe it was not an easy thing to do, but it was the right thing to do. 
Although doubtful of the campaign result, we launched the online campaign on 7 July, which was a Saturday. You know what, to very my very pleasant surprise, just over one weekend, we collected more than RM32k, and in 5 days, we’ve collected more than RM100k, and less than a week, we’ve collected more than RM143k. This was also when we announced that we’ll raise the remaining of the fund in this dinner and we’d stop the online fund-raising by the end of that day. Here is the final figure for our online donation is: RM150,939.
Tens of thousands of people from all around Malaysia and all races just chip-in online RM1, RM5, RM10, and some RM50, RM100 and within a week we collected more than RM150k. I have witnessed first hand the real people power. It was 5 times our initial expectation and 50% more than our target and took only 1/4 of the expected time frame.  May I say this: Syabas may have won the case in the court, but YB Tony Pua and DAP have won the heart and the support of the people in Malaysia. 
I’ve learnt a precious lesson from the experience of running this online campaign. That is this: yes, we may have a one-sided main stream media; yes, we may have an unfair electoral system and it may not change in time for the general election; yes, Barisan Nasional has so much so much more money to run their election campaign; however, with hard work from our side and the help and support from all of you and thousands and millions of enlightened Malaysians out there, DAP and Pakatan Rakyat shall ride against all odds and prevail in the coming General Election.