EC: RM400m To Conduct GE14

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PUTRAJAYA, Mar 14 – An estimated RM400 million is needed to conduct the 14th General Election (GE14), according to the Election Commission. Its chairman Tan Sri Mohd Hashim Abdullah said the expenditure included rental costs, procurement of equipment, payment of allowances and honorarium.

“All nomination centres, polling centres and counting centres have been identified and ready to operate,” he told Bernama, adding 250,000 temporary workers were needed to ensure smooth running of GE14. He said transport requirements including helicopters had also been identified, with all logistics preparations in good order.

The EC expects 100,000 representatives or agents of contesting parties to act as observers throughout GE14. Mohd Hashim said the number did not include observers outside the polling centres. In short, he said, the observers would be aware of everything that is going on inside and outside the polling centres.

“The EC will emphasise to the candidates that they must have their representatives or agents around throughout the election process. We will read out the names of these observers to assure the public of transparency and fairness; therefore political parties should not worry about transparency of the electoral process which the country had always practised,” he said.

Aside from that, he said the EC was also waiting for response from international observers including from Commonwealth and ASEAN countries that had been invited for the GE14. He added that the EC had also appointed local observers from non partisan non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and university representatives. On his own preparation in leading the EC for the first time in a General Election, Mohd Hashim admitted it was a challenge to prove his capability.

“Personally, I am dealing with various emotions; but I am optimistic that I can do what is best as I am also assisted by the EC workforce, secretariat officials and committed and experienced officers,” he said. Describing the prior seven by-elections and the 11th Sarawak State Election as “a training ground”, he said he would apply such valuable experience in GE14. — Bernama

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