Cost to hit RM2bil if parliamentary, state polls held separately, says Tok Pa

Mustapa, pictured here talking to a recipient at the awards in Jeli on Sept 25, says separate parliamentary and state elections would also affect outstation voters' decision to return home to vote. – BERNAMApic

JELI: Holding separate parliamentary and state elections would double the total cost and take it close to RM2bil, says Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) said separate polls would also have an impact on the country's recovery process.

ALSO READ: RM1.1bil price tag to hold polls, says EC

"A sharp cost increase will occur as over RM1bil is needed to conduct a general election.

"It could also influence outstation voters’ decision on returning twice to their respective hometowns to vote,” he told reporters at the Dato’ Pa Service Centre in Bukit Nangka on Sunday (Sept 25).

He had just handed out assistance to students in his Jeli parliamentary constituency who excelled in the SPM, STPM and STAM examinations.

Mustapa said holding parliamentary and state elections separately would place the national focus more on politics than on economic recovery.

ALSO READ: More voters, more expenses

"This will certainly burden the people and disrupt the recovery process and political stability, as all parties will be campaigning, putting up election posters, holding ceramah and so on.

"The important thing now is economic recovery after our fight against Covid-19,” he added.

In SUNGAI PETANI, PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said it is not suitable to hold the 15th General Election (GE15) this year as heavy rains and floods are expected to occur in mid-November.

Ibrahim said that based on the recent weather forecast issued by the Malaysian Meteorological Department, the country would receive more rainfall in mid-November than in any other month.

"It's not suitable to hold a general election now. If it’s still being held, the police have to guard the ballot boxes.

"How are they going to ensure the safety of the people affected by floods? There are not enough police officers to accommodate all this," he said after launching the national-level World Rivers Day celebration on Sunday in his capacity as Environment and Water Minister.

The event also marked the 90th anniversary of the Irrigation and Drainage Department.

PAS had previously said that it would not dissolve the legislative assemblies in the states under its administration if Parliament were to be dissolved this year. – Bernama

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