PETALING JAYA: Former Election Commission (EC) deputy chairman Wan Ahmad Wan Omar has advised against holding separate state polls next year, saying the expenditure could exceed RM500 million.
Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan will hold state elections next year, as the state governments opted against holding elections concurrently with the general election on Nov 19.
According to Utusan Malaysia, Wan Ahmad said Pakatan Harapan and PAS, which control three of the six state assemblies each, must come to an agreement to hold simultaneous state elections.
He said this would save the EC time, costs and manpower.
“The total cost of state elections in the six states is estimated to be RM450 million, but if the polls are held separately, expenditure could increase by another RM100 million,” he was quoted as saying.
He said the increase in expenditure would involve costs for training about 150,000 EC workers and paying their allowances, as well as expenses for transportation, construction and equipment.
Wan Ahmad said the ideal time to hold the state elections was July because pilgrims would have returned to Malaysia by then, and this would ensure greater voter turnout.
He said the elections must be held as soon as possible as any delay would anger the people, adding that the nation’s political leaders should focus on ensuring stability and economic recovery rather than election campaigns.
The five-year term for the six state assemblies will end in May.