PETALING JAYA: Parliament has yet to be dissolved and the general election date has not even been announced, but suppliers and printers of polls paraphernalia are already looking to cash in on the occasion.
Companies that supply party flags, posters, flyers and brochures as well as caps, umbrellas and other items bearing the logos of political parties said orders have already come in, and they figure business will be even better than during GE13.
“I’ve already received many orders for party flags. Competition between parties will be more intense in GE14, so I expect a bigger demand for my products this time around,” said the owner of a business based in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur.
His firm, which advertises its wares online, sells flags, T-shirts, caps and banners bearing political party logos.
The owner said party flags were a top seller and he took orders from any customer, regardless of political party.
Another supplier in Sepang, Selangor, said business was still slow but he expected it to pick up soon.
The company, which advertises on Facebook, prints T-shirts and sells button badges and other party items, mostly for PAS and DAP.
“For GE13, I started getting many orders a year before the election. This time around things are still slow,” said the owner, who also declined to be named.
He believed that the rift in PAS which led to the rise of Amanah had caused a drop in demand, but hoped it was just temporary.
He said the possibility of more multi-cornered contests in GE14 could spur demand for election material.
Posters bearing the photo and name of candidates are a big part of his business, but orders for those items are only made after nomination day.
He said his company does not deal directly with political parties but gets orders from individuals, some of whom act on behalf of party sponsors.
For Umno, the sourcing of election and campaign materials is handled by party headquarters, said Selangor Umno deputy chief Datuk Mat Nadzari Ahmad.
“The state Umno is in charge of getting the campaign workers and machinery ready but some of the logistics, including posters, is handled by HQ,” he said.
PKR election director Datuk Johari Abdul said it may be a last-minute rush for Pakatan Harapan to get its polls materials ready.
He said component members are taking a wait-and-see approach and have not placed any big orders yet.
“Pakatan hopes to contest under one logo but will have to wait for approval from the Registrar of Societies and Election Commission to do so.
“We do not want to end up printing the materials now only to be told that we can’t use them for the election,” he said.
If Pakatan was denied a common logo, he said its candidates would contest under their respective party logos.
Johari added that Pakatan was likely to decentralise the printing of its materials and would leave it to the respective states to get it done when the time came.
Asked if the coming polls would see an intense flag and poster war, he said it probably would, although it may not be as extensive as in GE13.
“It will certainly be more colourful and intense as there are more parties, but everyone is more cautious about spending now,” he added.