‘Snap polls to cost RM1.2bil’

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 13 Aug 2020

IF a snap election is called nationwide, it would cost the government about RM1.2bil, says Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said the high amount was needed as there were measures that needed to be in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Takiyuddin said the last general election in May 2018 cost about RM500mil.

“I was made to understand by the Election Commission (EC) that if the government is to have a nationwide snap polls now, it would cost an estimated RM1.2bil.

“This is due to the pandemic as all standard operating procedures need to be followed, ” he said in his reply during the committee stage of the Supplementary Supply (2019) Bill 2020.

Takiyuddin said the five recent by-elections had also cost about RM12.95mil in total.

The breakdown of the costs were Cameron Highlands (RM3.5mil), Semenyih (RM1.8mil), Rantau (RM1.83mil), Tanjung Piai (RM2.68mil) and Sandakan (RM3.32mil).

Takiyuddin also said a sum of RM400,000 was allocated for election petitions.

In the previous Pakatan Harapan administration, Takiyuddin said it was decided that the EC could not engage the services of the Attorney General Chambers (AGC) for election petition claims.

He said the EC had to appoint lawyers from the private sector to represent them for four election petitions – Jasin, Sipitang, Rantau and Kimanis.

“Before this, the Barisan Nasional administration had decided that the AGC would represent the EC in all election petition cases.

“The Barisan and Perikatan Nasional governments are of the opinion that the AGC has the expertise to handle these cases compared to private sector lawyers, who only deal with election petitions occasionally.

“As such, the current government will think of a new policy on the representation for EC should there be an election petition, ” he said.

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