KUALA LUMPUR, 6 April 2009: The Election Commission (EC) is spending about RM1.5 million to conduct the three by-elections tomorrow, in the Bukit Gantang parliamentary constituency in Perak and the state constituencies of Bukit Selambau in Kedah and Batang Ai in Sarawak, the Dewan Negara was told today.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said the EC was spending RM700,000 to conduct the by-election in Bukit Gantang and RM400,000 each to conduct the by-elections in Bukit Selambau and Batang Ai.
The cost of the by-election in Bukit Gantang was higher because it was a parliamentary constituency, he said when replying to a question from Senator Datuk Abdul Rahman Bakar.
Replying to a supplementary question, from Senator Mumtaz Md Nawi, Nazri said the people could not be subjected to automatic registration as voters.
“Automatic registration would mean subjecting an individual to coercion. In a democratic country, a citizen has the option of registering as a voter.
“As such, in this matter, we cannot force anyone. When they are made to register as voters and they don’t exercise their right (when the time comes), they would be regarded as having neglected their duty to vote,” he said. — Bernama