Over US$126m spent on M’sia’s 13th general election

By The Star | Source: News Desk
A total of 204.1 million ringgit (US$64 million) was used to pay election workers during Malaysia’s 13th general election (GE13), says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Shahidan Kassim.

He added that the Finance Ministry had approved a total of 400 million ringgit ($126 million) for the polls.

Another 5.081 million ringgit ($1.6 million) was spent on overtime allowances for the staff involved, he said in a written reply to opposition Seremban MP Anthony Loke during Parliament sitting.

Shahidan said 98.465 million ringgit ($31 million) was spent on logistics used for the general election. The expenses involved payment and rental of IT and communication equipment such as fax machines and telephones as well as for transportation.

He added that other miscellaneous expenditure amounted to 92.354 million ringgit ($29.2 million)

Shahidan also said there was no need to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate allegations of irregularities during the general election, adding that such matters could be filed in the court.

“This is clearly stated in the Federal Constitution. Article 118 states that no election results can be questioned except through an election petition filed in the High Court of the jurisdiction where the election in question was held,” he told opposition Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng.

Lim had asked the government whether it was necessary to establish an RCI to look into allegations of irregularities during the GE13 and to find the reasons behind the May 13 racial riots in 1969.

On the RCI to look into the May 13 incidents, Shahidan said that over the years, measures had been taken to address various issues to ensure that peace and harmony prevailed.

Among the measures was the setting-up of a muhibbah council under the purview of the National Unity Department to foster goodwill among the races, he added.