EC: NGOs can contest in polls

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 17 May 2003

Other News & ViewsCompiled by FARIDAH BEGUM and S. ARULLDAS

NON-GOVERNMENTAL organisations (NGOs) listed under the Registrar of Societies can field candidates in the general election by registering with the Election Commission.  

The commission's chairman Datuk Wira Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said its studies showed that NGOs could contest under the scope of the Federal Constitution. 

In an interview with Utusan Malaysia, Abdul Rashid said NGOs such as MTUC and the Malaysian Muslim Youth Movement (Abim) could field candidates under their own banners.  

This move, he added, was in anticipation that certain individuals might want to contest under the banner of the entities they lead rather than as independents or candidates of opposition parties as had been the practice in the past. 

The registration with the commission by NGOs will also include registering their own symbols. 

Amendments to Article 46 of the Federal Constitution on the delineation of constituencies are expected to be tabled at the next Dewan Rakyat sitting in the third week of next month. 

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, in a Berita Harian report, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad would table the amendments, covering the delineation exercise approved by the Dewan Rakyat on April 8. 

The amendments will provide for 25 new parliamentary constituencies, bringing the number from 194 to 219. 

Berita Harian also quoted former Bank Negara assistant governor Datuk Dr Awang Adek Husin as saying that Kelantan's economy would not expand as long as PAS was in power. 

He said while the Barisan Nasional was in power from 1978 to 1990, the state government took positive action in creating an industrial area in Pengkalan Chepa and providing the much-needed infrastructure for investors and factories.  

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