Penang wants EC pow-wow over joint polls date

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal, The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 — The Election Commission (EC) should set up a meeting between the federal administration and all state governments to discuss an agreeable date for next general election, the Penang chief minister said today.

In seeking the consultation, Lim Guan Eng said Pakatan Rakyat (PR) states were now “unfairly” targeted and pressured by the EC towards accepting a concurrent election date with the federal government.

“Why only PR states and not [Barisan Nasional]? If the EC is truly free, it should be discussed with all governments, state and federal,” he told reporters here.

EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof recently said he would meet the chief ministers and mentri besars of the four PR-held states — Penang, Kedah, Kelantan and Selangor — to discuss the benefits of having simultaneous state and federal polls.

He was quoted by national news agency Bernama as saying that simultaneous polls would save monetary resources.

“I do not see a problem with different elections…. it has not been an issue in the past. If Sarawak can have separate elections, why not other states?” Lim said today.

Penang and Selangor have said they would not dissolve their respective state assemblies if an early general election is called.

“But we are willing to discuss. Penang is willing to have a fruitful discussion if the EC moves for one,” Lim added.