Invoke: RM11m spent on assisting candidates for GE14

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KUALA LUMPUR — Invoke Malaysia founder Rafizi Ramli trumpeted his big data-cum-volunteer organisation’s 95 per cent success rate when it helped Pakatan Harapan (PH) candidates win in 42 seats in the 14th general election.

“PH 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),” he said in a statement, adding that it was a “stunning 95 per cent success rate”.

Rafizi said 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 million worth of merchandise (mostly t-shirts and books),” he said.

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 for the past two years.

He said only two parliamentary seats assisted by Invoke that was not won by PH were Padang Rengas (won by BN’s Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz) and Sembrong (won by Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein)

Prospective election candidates were asked to publicly declare their assets last November and this March ahead of the polls, in order to receive campaign help from Invoke and in what Rafizi said was a bid to kickstart a change in Malaysia’s political culture.

According to Invoke’s website, these candidates were required to sign an #akujanji agreement to pay RM20 million to a public trust fund by Invoke if they were to switch parties after winning.

Rafizi said Invoke was the only pollster that consistently predicted a PH win since last January.

The prediction was based on a two-week-long survey via phone calls to 11,991 voters throughout the peninsular and survey results up to May 4, with voters asked if they would vote for BN, PH or PAS or were unsure.

He credited Invoke’s success to the public who gave his team the trust they needed, 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.

He said Invoke spent more than a year training volunteers to mitigate the fear of electoral fraud that could have prevented many Malaysians from turning up to vote.

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 came to discussing politics with strangers.

“But many volunteers had braved this cultural block to persuade thousands of identified fence-sitters to vote PH,” 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 between 23 and 27, who had quit their jobs to join Invoke since August 2016.