Sunday, October 2

EC hopes polls will be held simultaneously

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SUNGAI PETANI: The Election Commission (EC) hopes the election for parliamentary seats in all states and the state seats, except for Sarawak, be held simultaneously.

Its chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof, said he would meet the leaders of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat-DAP-PAS political pact which is in power in Selangor,Penang, Kedah and Kelantan to explain to them the good of having the simultaneous election.

“Although the law allows the election for the state seats and the parliamentary seats to be held separately, the EC feels it is better to do it simultaneously to save cost, time and energy.

“The process is the same,” he told reporters after opening a state-level briefing for returning officers and assistant returning officers in preparation for the 13th general election here yesterday.

Abdul Aziz said the EC was prepared to have the general election this year or next year. On Nov 17, Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said that the Selangor State Assembly would not be dissolved early next year, even if Parliament was dissolved.

Abdul Aziz also said the EC welcome suggestions from any quarters to improve the election process, but that it should be done through proper channels.

On voters, he said, 42,000 names out of the 12.4 million registered voters could not be traced or ascertained their status.

“The owners of these 42,000 names are given until December to verify their status. They are required to go the National Registration Office to verify their identity cards and then to the EC to register,” he added.

He said more than 13,000 of the ‘doubtful’ voters were inSabahand about 2,000 in Kedah. There were still about three million Malaysians between the age of 21 and 41 who had yet to register as voters, he said, adding that most of them were in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan.

In Kedah alone, there are about 300,000 people who have yet to register, he added. On yesterday’s briefing, he said, it had been held in Kelantan, Selangor, Perak and Negeri Sembilan. — Bernama