‘Snap polls will be a costly affair’

  • Nation
  • Friday, 28 Feb 2020

PETALING JAYA: It would cost more than half a billion ringgit to conduct a snap general election if there is a need for one, says the Election Commission (EC) chairman.

“My ‘guesstimate’ is it could cost anywhere between RM700mil and RM800mil,” said Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun.

He said the 14th General Election (GE14) in May 2018 cost between RM500mil and RM600mil to run.

It will cost more now, said Azhar, also known as Art Harun.

He added that several improvements had been introduced since he took over the EC, among them was the addition of more streams to improve the voter experience and wait time.

“One or two more streams have been added in every polling centre, so that would involve an increased workforce and a higher cost to rent tents and other amenities to help facilitate the needs of the elderly and disabled people.

“We may also need to rent new places as polling centres, so (a snap election) would surely would cost more than the last one,” he said.

Apart from that, logistics must also be taken into consideration, he said.

Azhar added that some people could also raise the price of the services they offer, taking advantage of the polls.

He also noted that a snap general election, should there be one, must also be conducted within 60 days of the dissolution of Parliament.

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