President spent $220,875 on campaign

Madam Halimah Yacob examining a campaign T-shirt with some members of her team before Nomination Day. Campaign expenses by a presidential candidate are subject to a legal limit - which was $754,982.40 this year.
Madam Halimah Yacob examining a campaign T-shirt with some members of her team before Nomination Day. Campaign expenses by a presidential candidate are subject to a legal limit - which was $754,982.40 this year.PHOTO: FACEBOOK.COM/HALIMAHYACOB

Election returns also show six individuals and a firm donated $800,000 to her campaign

President Halimah Yacob's campaign spent $220,875 in total, most of it on promotional materials, according to papers filed with the Elections Department last week.

The expenses include $73,000 for 10,100 posters, and $36,400 for 1.28 million postcards - which would have been mailed to every household if there had been a contest.

Her campaign spokesman told The Sunday Times: "(We) had to be ready for a contest, and promotional materials were therefore produced ahead of time. Now that the election is over, most of the materials will be disposed of. Where possible, they will be processed into recycled paper. Some materials will also be kept by volunteers as souvenirs."

Her election returns, available for public inspection at the Elections Department from yesterday, included a list of donations. Her campaign raised $800,000 from six individuals and one marine company.

Top of the list was businessman Ng Kim Choon, who gave $440,000. Others included Sheng Siong boss Lim Hock Chee and Singapore Salvage Engineers - they each donated $50,000.

All unused donations will be returned to donors, a statement from her campaign team said yesterday.

"The donors have been encouraged by Madam Halimah's passion for social causes. Many of them have indicated that they intend to make a contribution to the next cycle of the President's Challenge," the statement added.

BEING PREPARED

(We) had to be ready for a contest, and promotional materials were therefore produced ahead of time. Now that the election is over, most of the materials will be disposed of. Where possible, they will be processed into recycled paper. Some materials will also be kept by volunteers as souvenirs.

SPOKESMAN FOR MADAM HALIMAH YACOB'S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN.

In preparation for their unsuccessful bids for the presidency, marine services company chairman Farid Khan spent $200,000, while property firm chief executive Salleh Marican spent $90,000. The two - who did not qualify as candidates and therefore did not have to file returns - said this was their own money.

That brings the total spent on the three campaigns to just over half a million dollars.

At the last presidential election in 2011 - contested by four candidates - the total spending was $1.32 million. Winning candidate Tony Tan Keng Yam spent $503,000. But the top spender was runner-up Tan Cheng Bock, who spent $585,000.

Campaign expenses by each candidate are subject to a legal limit - which was $754,982.40 this year. It was $682,431.90 in 2011.

President Halimah's election returns show that 90 per cent of spending - or $198,200 - was on promotional materials. Other items included room rental ($6,000), office supplies ($4,800), food ($3,400), transport ($2,900), and telephone and communications ($1,500).

Much of the promotional materials were to be used in physical campaigning, which remains important in elections here.

She printed 10,100 posters at $73,000, and 200 PVC banners, measuring 4.5m by 1.2m each, at $20,300. In a contested election, these would have been put up on designated lamp posts and at other public spaces across the island.

Also purchased were 1.28 million A5-sized mailers. They would have been mailed out to all households based on the electoral register - which her campaign paid $3,700 to obtain from the authorities.

Madam Halimah also bought 10,000 fridge magnets, at just under 30 cents each, as well as 540 T-shirts for $5,600 and 530 umbrellas for $1,640.

Online campaigning made up a significant part of the expenses, including $29,000 on video production and $16,000 on the website.

The campaign paid $8,900 in total to NTUC Centre for room rental, carpark charges, and the use of printing, phone and fax facilities.

Food for volunteers - including a buffet by Casserole Catering, and curry puffs from Polar Puffs and Cakes - came up to $3,400.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 08, 2017, with the headline 'President spent $220,875 on campaign'. Print Edition | Subscribe