PETALING JAYA: The Election Commission (EC) is expected to spend up to RM300 million to hold separate elections for six states next year, since they are not dissolving their legislative assemblies.
Former EC deputy chairman Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said the sum would be the minimum required to cover staff and logistics costs.
Berita Harian quoted him as saying the government would also need to provide additional allocations for enforcement agencies on duty during the elections, including the police.
“The separate elections will also disrupt educational institutions since they will be used as polling stations,” he said.
The six states that are holding separate parliamentary and state elections are Penang, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Kelantan, and Terengganu.
After announcing the dissolution of Parliament on Oct 10, caretaker Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Melaka, Johor, Sabah, and Sarawak did not have to dissolve their assemblies since they had their state elections over the past two years.
He urged the other states to dissolve their assemblies in line with GE15.
Wan Ahmad warned that separate elections may lead to a low voter turnout for the state polls, saying voters will be “bored”.
“It is best to hold them simultaneously,” he said.
Former EC chairman Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof agreed, saying having separate state elections was a “waste of time and energy”.
“It exhausts the EC staff and voters, and causes a low voter turnout because it adds to the expenses of those who have to return to their hometowns twice to vote,” he said.–FMT