EC: Holding separate polls in Selangor will cost taxpayers RM30mil


(The Star) – Pakatan Rakyat’s proposal not to hold polls for Selangor simultaneously with the next general election will cost taxpayers RM30mil, said Electoral Commission Deputy Chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar.

To hold separate state elections for all Pakatan-controlled states would cost up to RM100mil.

“I’d advise all state governments not to play politics with taxpayers money. Why? To show you don’t want to do what the Federal Government does? Not holding them at the same time will result in double the training, preparation, budget,” he told The Star.

“It’s their right to do so as long as they get consent, but what difference does it make to hold the elections later? The rakyat already knows the candidates and the policies.”

“And what if when the time comes the Finance Minister says there is not enough money in the Treasury? We will have to ask the state government for the funds,” he said.

Wan Ahmad pointed out that PAS-held Kelantan, headed by Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat for 22 years, had always held state elections at the same time as the general election.

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said earlier in the week that Pakatan wanted to delay state polls in Selangor until the EC cleaned up the electoral roll in the PKR-controlled state, which Pakatan claims has increased by 35%.

He said to reporters that other Pakatan states were still discussing their options.

The EC deputy chairman also said that many of the purported “errors” in electoral roll did not actually exist.

“Certain parties politicise issues based on perception. They have never come to us with proof. Perhaps the people working for these parties don’t have enough understanding about the electoral roll as it is a very technical matter.

“We have very sophisticated technology in place. What political parties are trying to do is to create a situation to make fence sitters angry with the EC so that it translates into sympathy votes.”

Wan Ahmad also dismissed Anwar’s call for 42,051 “doubtful voters” to be slashed from the electoral roll.

“We looked into the matter and some of these voters have come forward to confirm their status. Now we only have slightly over 40,800 of these ‘inactive citizens’ whose status we don’t know.

“We cannot simply allow them to be struck off the list. It is their right as a citizen to vote and we can’t take that away.”

Wan Ahmad stressed that the EC’s role was to ensure every citizen could exercise his or her right to vote.

“We have one of the best systems in the world. Things like indelible ink is actually going backwards. We take great pride in our work – why would we try to give the impression we are inefficient?

“Informed voters will make a good decision, as he or she knows their vote is important.”