Holding state polls separate from GE15 may cost taxpayers up to RM350m extra, says former EC deputy chief

·2-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — Putrajaya may have to spend up to an additional RM350 million if some state legislative assemblies (DUN) are not dissolved by the time the next general election (GE15) is held, former Election Commission (EC) deputy chairman Datuk Seri Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said.

Wan Ahmad said that such an event will create unnecessary delays and inconvenience schools that will be used as polling stations as well as civil servants who will be the staffers during the elections.

“Separate election for the state assemblies will cause additional budgets. That’s the taxpayers’ money that will have to be spent.

“The additional cost will depend on voters’ population, election logistics, workers allowances, transportations, ballot papers, etc,” he said when contacted by Malay Mail.

Apart from the extra cost, he also said that the people will be distracted and fed up with politics since more campaigning will be done even after the GE15.

Wan Ahmad said that the power struggle that has been going on for the past years has caused political disinterest among the people, and holding federal and state elections separately would be a final nail in the coffin.

“Campaigning will not stop from the election for Parliament seats and again for state elections. Too much politicking and political campaigns is not good for the people, splitting the harmony of the community in all areas involved.

“It may also affect the voter turnout because people will get fed up with too much politics and campaigns and elections. They want to go on with their daily activities especially those from the lower-income households,” he added.

Previously, at least three states have announced their reluctance to dissolve their respective state assemblies for the GE15 to be held by this year.

On August 30, PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said that the Islamist party will not dissolve its respective state legislative assemblies (DUN) earlier than March 2023, to prioritise economic recovery.

PAS currently helms three states, namely Kelantan, Kedah, and Terengganu.

The next day, Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun also expressed that the state’s Pakatan Harapan (PH) government is unlikely to dissolve the state assembly before March next year.

On August 1, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said that he would consider calling for a state election concurrently with the general election if the latter is held by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has hinted that the date for GE15 will be announced “very soon” during the Barisan Nasional (BN) Youth Machinery Launch Ceremony last week.