Snap general election to cost RM1.2 billion

KUALA LUMPUR – The Election Commission (EC) will require about RM1.2 billion if a snap general election is to be held during the COVID-19 pandemic period.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said that would be the estimated cost required to carry out the general election by taking into account the standard operating procedures (SOP) to prevent the COVID-19 transmission.

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“The EC had informed that if the government holds a snap election for the whole country during the post-COVID-19 period, an estimated expenditure of RM1.2 billion is needed” he said when winding up the debate on the Supplementary Supply Bill (2019) 2020 at the committee level in the Dewan Rakyat today.

He told the August House that a total of RM12,946,353.50 from the RM15 million allocation received by the EC last year was spent to implement five by-elections namely for the Cameron Highland, Sandakan and Tanjung Piai parliamentary seats, as well as the Semenyih and Rantau state seats.

Meanwhile, Takiyuddin said the government hoped to introduce a new policy to allow the Attorney-General to represent the EC in election petition cases.

He said this being that some RM400,000 from the RM15 million allocated to the EC was spent to fund the service of private lawyers in election petition.

“The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) in the previous government (Pakatan Harapan) had decided that the EC could not use the service of the AGC in election petition cases and had to appoint private lawyers.

“The current government (Perikatan Nasional) opined that the AGC has the expertise in managing election petition cases,” he added.

— BERNAMA