Syed Saddiq Will Go Bald For Fundraising Campaign
Several days ago, MP Muar Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman posted a post on social media about going bald with the #BotakChallenge.
However, that will only happen if he manages to collect 200,000 RM for 100 laptops in five days, with a countdown from December 26.
This effort is part of its program, 1 Keluarga 1 Laptop, which aims to provide laptops to low-income families in Muar with children who need them for their studies.
He shared in a Facebook post: “As of this year, more than 100 laptops have been donated to recipients. Before the end of 2020, I plan to donate another 100 laptops to our brothers and sisters in need. “
A message from the crown prince
This initiative might actually end sooner than expected after Tunku Mahkota Johor (TMJ), Tunku Ismail Idris made a generous donation of RM300,000 to Saddiq.
This, however, came with a few comments from the crown prince himself. He posted a story on Instagram which read, “No need to steal rakyat money and no need to go bald.”
Although he gave no name, netizens had an idea of who he was intended for. In response, however, Saddiq simply posted a video thanking ATM for his generous donation and how he and the people of Muar are indebted to him.
Internet users are not too happy either
TMJ is not the only one to have criticized this crowdfunding campaign, however. Commentators on Facebook have also questioned Saddiq’s actions by asking for funding from the public.
One of them said that the money to fund programs like these should come from our taxes paid, not extra money from our own pockets.
Saddiq also had to clarify to a commentator that the #BotakChallenge was a way for him to keep the program afloat after funding was cut by the government.
Others have also questioned the amount of money he collects as 2000 RM for a laptop is a high amount and there are cheaper options in the market.
In October, as part of the same campaign, Saddiq said every laptop he bought cost RM 1,400 and was cheaper when bought in bulk.
He even asked for second-hand donations, which he told a commentator he would always happily accept.
Besides the criticism, he also received a lot of praise. But this is not the first time Saddiq has sought the public’s help in fundraising initiatives.
For example, a few months ago, he raised over 50,000 RM for the #TolongBantuMahasiswa fundraiser and participated in other fundraising activities during his tenure as Minister of Youth and Sports.
Saddiq has always talked about crowdfunding for political activities, but this is the first time he’s volunteered to go bald.
While crowdfunding is a viable option to deliver on promises to Malaysians, it raises concerns about transparency.
The public needs to see transparent ventilation
Based on the donation link provided in their #BotakChallenge posts, the public has no way of seeing a full picture of what has been collected.
The number of funds raised for campaigns would typically be displayed in real time on crowdfunding pages like GoFundMe, for example.
With Saddiq’s link, Malaysians can only rely on Saddiq’s daily social media announcements for the breakdown of his total donations, and take him at his word.
This lack of transparency can make many people hesitate to donate, so one solution would be to switch to more secure and reputable fundraising platforms.
A position of power has a great influence
Overall, it is inspiring to see how quickly money is raised for these less fortunate families in Muar.
Whether or not it should have come from taxpayers’ money is a trivial debate in this case, provided that 100% of the 100% of donations actually go to the promised community and we see the results.
At the end of the day, what is important is that it is the people who will actually benefit from this #BotakChallenge initiative, and not Saddiq or any other politician who will do the same in the future.
- You can choose to show your support and contribute to the #BotakChallenge here.
- You can read more about what we wrote about crowdfunding here.
Image Credit: Syed Saddiq, founder of the MUDA Party
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