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Thread: SPR: EC 'reforms' boost polls expenses, claims Tindak

   
   
       
  1. #1
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    SPR: EC 'reforms' boost polls expenses, claims Tindak



    EC 'reforms' boost polls expenses, claims Tindak


    • Nigel Aw


    • 11:55AM Jun 16, 2012

    http://malaysiakini.com/news/201037

    While the Election Offences Act (Amendment) 2012 was abruptly withdrawn forcedby the uproar against the changes seen as hamstringing election observers' functions, several others appeared to have escaped the radar screen.

    This, election education group Tindak Malaysia chief Wong Piang Yow said, is seen in five amendments to the Election Regulations instituted since June last year while others include procedural changes that may not require legal adjustments.

    Some changes were positive, such as the implementation of indelible ink, the abolition of three-day period for candidates to drop out to prevent bribes induced last minute withdrawals and minor improvements to election forms.

    However, one serious concern, said Wong, is a procedural change introducing a fourth clerk at polling stations, tasked to ensure that ballot papers are properly placed in the ballot boxes.

    This, he said, will push up in the election cost by at least RM7 million, pointing out that the country's election expenses are already one of the highest in the world.

    "We spent RM172 million in the last general election, that translates close to RM15 (US$5) per eligible voter.

    "If you compare with the US, it's between US$1 to US$3, Australia is US$3 plus, India and Pakistan around US$1," he said.

    The country that supersedes Malaysia in cost is Afghanistan, he said, "but that's a war torn country".

    He added that based on the NGO's voter education training, two clerks would more than suffice.

    More postal voters despite criticism'

    This, Wong said, would mean an extra 25,000 polls workers who would qualify to apply to be postal voters.

    "While we're trying to reduce postal votes because people don't trust it, now they (Election Commission) are going to boost the numbers," he said.

    While advance voting has been introduced, he added its expansion to cover spouses of police in the General Operation Force also raises concerns as they can still apply to be postal voters.

    These changes were instituted based on the report of the parliamentary select committee on electoral reform which was established after the Bersih 2.0 protest in July last year.

    However, Wong charged that while the panel was discussing the proposed reforms, the EC had gone ahead with its own amendments to the Election Offenses Act that regressive to electoral transparency.

    "Such amendments take months to draft, which means they were planning to undercut the PSC from day one, they've made a farce out of the PSC," he said.

    EC snubs electoral reform group

    Following the third Bersih rally on April 28 this year to protest what they say as insufficient reforms to the electoral system, the EC has now completely snubbed the electoral reform group, going to the extent of wanting to drop its yellow field colour to dissociate itself from the movement.

    Despite the snub, Wong insisted that the show of force in the form of some 250,000 people turning up for the latest Bersih protest has exerted extra pressure on the EC but NGOs still have work awaiting.

    "Bersih is a mass agitation movement and they've been very successful in evoking consciousness, the next step is to translate its demands into amendments to electoral laws and regulations, this is where we come in," he said.

    Wong's Tindak Malaysia which has assisted Bersih in drafting the electoral law amendments during the PSC hearing said it is now working on drafting a more comprehensive legal framework concerning elections.

    Flag up for future

    "We also train polling agents to be inside polling centres and also election observers for the Jom Pantau programme," he said.

    This, he said, included rendering service to any political party that may approach the group for training as polling agents as well as for private individuals.

    "Our approach is we train people with the objective of promoting free and fair elections, it is up to them to decide which political party they want to serve.

    "Alternatively we can assign them depending on their preference and if they are okay with it, we assign them to political parties at random," he said.

    These measures, he said, would hopefully be able to mitigate any electoral fraud as the EC has refused to take electoral reform seriously.
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  2. #2
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    He said there would be 1,756 polling stations in the state with 2,667 streams spread out in the 861 polling districts.

    With the vastness and rugged terrains of Sarawak, he said the EC would be using all sorts of transportations, including two fixed-wing aircraft, 27 helicopters, 777 boats, 53 speedboats and 4,600 four-wheel drives and cars.


    Looks like they are going to war.

    The SPR is asking for RM 360 million. That's RM 30 per voter (USD 10). That is more than 10 times that of India or Pakistan and more than 3 times that of Australia, a country of area 7.69 million sq. km, compared to Malaysia's 0.33 million sq. km. Australia is 23 times larger than Malaysia and yet can conduct an election 3 times cheaper.

    On top of that, they are going to spend RM 78 million for Sarawak. Registered voters in Sarawak as at 31st Dec 2011 is reported to be 1,024,240. That's RM 76 per voter which is equal to the cost in war-torn Afghanistan. I hope people are not thinking of starting a war in Sarawak. Or is this the last hurrah?

    Wednesday, 27 June 2012 13:51

    ONLY 31 SEATS BUT Sarawak to get RM78mil, largest portion of polls budget





    http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/in...udget&Itemid=2

    KUCHING- There are only 31 parliamentary seats to focus on in Sarawak but the state will be getting the largest portion of the election budget for the general polls.



    Election Commission (EC) deputy chairman Datuk Wira Wan Ahmad Wan Omar revealed that of the more than RM300mil set aside, the state would be receiving RM78mil.

    “Yes, Sarawak is the biggest indefinitely despite only having 31 seats to focus on. This is because 56% of the budget would go towards the rental of logistics,” he told a press conference here yesterday.

    He said details of the budget had been done in consultation with the Finance Ministry after thorough assessment on the logistics needed.

    He said there would be 1,756 polling stations in the state with 2,667 streams spread out in the 861 polling districts.

    With the vastness and rugged terrains of Sarawak, he said the EC would be using all sorts of transportations, including two fixed-wing aircraft, 27 helicopters, 777 boats, 53 speedboats and 4,600 four-wheel drives and cars.

    The helicopters, he said, would be needed in 15 parliamentary constituencies namely Santubong, Mambong, Batang Lupar, Sri Aman, Lubok Antu, Betong, Tanjong Manis, Julau, Kanowit, Selangau, Kapit, Hulu Rajang, Baram, Limbang and Lawas to cater to 133 polling stations.

    Other figures he mentioned was that 1,053 schools, 412 longhouses, 129 community halls, 73 halls and 89 other venues would be used as polling stations in the state.

    The EC manpower for Sarawak consists of 22,546 persons, including 31 Returning Officers, 122 assistant Returning Officers, 64 heads of the enforcement team.

    Wan Ahmad said the Parliament could be dissolved any time as its last sitting would be on April 27 next year.

    “So there’s all sorts of possibility when the election will be held and its entirely up to the Prime Minister. Following the dissolution, we will have up to 60 days to call for the election. What we need to do is be best prepared for this,” he said.

    Going by what Wan Ahmad said, the election is unlikely to occur before the fasting month given the EC had set June 30 as the deadline for its outreach programmes and talks.

    After which, the EC would fine-tune the preparation details by August and oversee other aspects like budget add-ons where necessary.

    Nonetheless, Wan Ahmad said there was also the weather and monsoon season to consider given flooding was likely to take place in the peninsula at the end of the year.

    Same goes for Sarawak whereby wind conditions in the interior could make it impossible for the helicopters to fly.

    “As it is on normal days, helicopters need to fly off before 3pm in some of the areas here because of dangerous wind conditions so all this would be considered so that the election process would move on smoothly.

    “The prime minister is well aware of this,” he added.
    py

  3. #3
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    Sarawak allocated RM80 million for 13th GE, up 40 pct from last state polls


    Posted on April 10, 2012, Tuesday



    http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/04...t-state-polls/

    KUCHING: Sarawak has been allocated RM80 million by the Election Commission (EC) to conduct the 13th General Election, said State EC director Datu Takun Sungah.

    He said the amount was an increase of 40 per cent from the last state election where the EC spent some RM50 million.

    “The increased in the amount is due to the higher cost of transportation such as for the usage of boats, land-cruisers and helicopters,” Takun told a press conference at a leading hotel here yesterday.

    He said the increase in the cost of election process in Sarawak was unavoidable as it is a vast state.

    “The increase was also due to the higher allowances for some 21,000 EC workers for the coming general election in Sarawak alone,” he said.

    On another issue, Takun also disclosed that the number of registered voters in Sarawak as of December 31, last year was 1,024,240.

    Takun added that those those who registered by March this year were still eligible to vote in the coming general election if it was held in June.

    Meanwhile, EC Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof disclosed that the EC was seeking some RM300 million from the government to conduct the upcoming general election.

    He said, besides Sarawak, EC would also allocate similar amount to Sabah due to the rugged terrains and bigger areas to cover compared to the other states in the Peninsular Malaysia.

    Sarawak has 31 parliamentary seats compared to 25 in Sabah.



    Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/04...#ixzz1yzTULjho
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    Uproar over RM700mil for polls expenses

    Syed Jaymal Zahiid
    | July 11, 2012
    Pakatan Rakyat demands to know why it takes that much to run the 13th national elections.
    KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Rakyat leaders today raised alarms over the Election Commission’s RM700 million budget to run the looming 13th general polls which is a drastic increase from its initial RM40 million allocation.

    PKR senator Syed Husin Ali, speaking to reporters here, revealed Putrajaya’s request for an additional RM360 million for the EC’s operational expenses, and RM300 million for “security expenses” amid an ongoing national dispute over the credibility of the country’s elections system.
    According to the former PKR deputy president, the amount was easily the biggest budget so far for an election.

    “The government must explain why is there a drastic increase from RM40 million to RM360 million in allocation for the EC’s operational expenses.

    “And this much money will be spent when there isn’t even any assurance that polls reform would be implemented,” Syed Husin said.

    The senator pointed that the request for RM300 million for security expenses was also questionable citing past incidents where opposition ceramah events were attacked by alleged supporters of the ruling coalition.

    “So what guarantees are there that taxpayers money would be spent accordingly?” asked the PKR senator.

    Insincere

    Growing support for polls reform movement Bersih and a national backlash derived from brutal crackdowns on its peaceful protests for free and fair elections have forced Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to accede to calls for a cleansing of the election system.

    A Parliamentary Select Committee was then set up to look into the demands followed by a 22 point recommendations tabled and approved in the Lower House at the March Parliament sitting.
    But the opposition claimed the premier was insincere with his reform pledges after he failed to give any assurance that the recommendations would be implemented before he calls for national polls which must be held by mid 2013.

    The PSC’s 22 recommendations, approved without debate, had also been criticised for purportedly failing to touch on specific issues pertaining to discrepancies in the current electoral roll.
    Opposition leaders alleged this proved allegations that the ruling coalition was hell-bent on winning what would be its toughest elections yet through cheating although Najib denied the allegation.

    Leaders from the ruling coalition also described Bersih and its opposition backers’ call for polls reform dishonest for rejecting the recommendations.

    They said their preference for street protests over dialogue strengthened perceptions that the movement was only interested in overthrowing the present government via a coup.



    Read more: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/cat...#ixzz20Ic3vYUB
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    Friday, 13 July 2012 08:51 RM700 mil for EC to conduct GE-13: Isn't that TOO MUCH?

    http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/in...ioned&Itemid=2



    Jul 12 - Veteran politician and Dewan Negara senator Dr Syed Husin Ali has questioned the additional RM660 million being sought by the Barisan Nasional government in the supplementary budget which brings the total allocation so far for the Election Commission to RM700 million.

    Syed Husin said he was baffled why such huge amount was needed especially when there has not been a guarantee of a free and fair general election.

    He noted that of the RM660 million, RM360 million was for EC’s operational costs while the remaining RM300 million for “security expenses”.

    EC was allocated RM25 million in the last budget.

    “There have been questions raised about this and I think we can’t just sidestep it like the denial syndrome,” he said, adding that what was crucial is the conduct of the polls.

    Another senator, Muhamad Yusof Husin, meanwhile proposed that the date of the general election be fixed at the end of the five year term.

    He also called for a regulation that the victor must declare the date for the next general election before the first parliamentary session.

    Earlier, PAS vice president Mahfuz Omar slammed prime minister Najib Razak for concealing the election date, saying it caused anxieties for Malaysians to plan ahead.

    “Fix the date so it won’t trouble the people,” said Mahfuz.

    -Harakahdaily
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  6. #6
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    We can refer to a UNDP IFES Cost of Elections Survey for reference. Generally, it should not exceed USD 5 per voter. Malaysia's budget of RM 660 Million represents USD 16.5 per voter, which is 3 times higher than the limit.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    py

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