How did EC spend RM400m?

DAP’s Anthony Loke asks why GE13 cost twice the amount spent on GE12. 

Anisah Shukry, FMT

The RM400 million the Election Commission (EC) used up for the 13th general election was twice the amount it spent for the 2008 polls, and this has raised questions about where the money went to.

“The cost to manage the 12th general election was only RM200 million. Why is it that in five years, the expenditure for the election has ballooned by 100% even though the number of voters increased only by 20%?” Seremban MP Anthony Loke asked during a press conference at the parliament lobby today.

He said this meant the average cost of managing a parliamentary constituency was RM1.8 million during this year’s election.

“This is a huge figure seeing as the spending limit for a candidate contesting a parliamentary seat is only RM200,000,” said the DAP man. “I myself spent less than RM100,000 in both elections and managed to win both times.”

He said the EC channeled most of the money into nomination day and polling day, and questioned whether RM1.8 million was needed to handle those two days.

He pointed out that the EC spent about RM318,000 to RM1.29 million for each parliamentary seat.

“Why is there such a huge difference in cost? If the cost to manage the Permatang Pauh by-election in 2008 was only RM409,000, what is the EC’s justification for spending an average of RM1.8 million for one parliamentary constituency in 2013?”

He said it was unacceptable for the EC to justify the additional expenditure by citing the need for extra clerks to handle the indelible as the figures just did not add up.

And while he conceded that certain parliamentary constituencies would require extra cost due to the use of helicopters, he said those areas were few and far between.