Expert Likens Malaysian Political Party’s ICO to Vote Buying

Dec 05, 2018 at 23:38

Think tank Center for A Better Tomorrow (Cenbet) said the selling of the Harapan coin, created to fund an opposition movement against the current governing coalition, is tantamount to vote buying.

The research group expressed its disapproval, saying such plan “goes against the principles of good governance.”

“I think it’s a no-go for a political party to start an initial coin offering (ICO),” Cenbet president Datuk Simon Lim Seng Chai was quoted as saying in a report by The Star Online.

“This move amounts to vote-buying,” he added.

To recall, Federal Territories minister Khalid Abdul Samad has proposed the issuance of a Harapan Coin.

Initially meant to be a political fundraising tool to end the 60-year rein of the Barisan Nasional have been in power for 60 years, its wealth and financial strength accu , the Harapan coin was also promoted as possibly becoming a national cryptocurrency.

In the Harapan website, the ICO is said to be targeting to generate $257.75 million.

Half of this will be exhausted in electoral marketing campaigns in preparation for the GE14 elections in Malaysia slated next year.

Nevertheless, Cenbet clarified that it did not protest on the use of cryptocurrency per se.

Instead, rules should be put in place to regulate cryptocurrency, according to Seng Chai.

Several countries around the world have been moving to put regulations in handling digital assets.

Like many other jurisdictions, Malaysia is moving towards having a crypto regulatory framework to protect traders and investors.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said regulations can be expected by the first quarter of next year 2019.