PUTRAJAYA (April 10): The Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof announced today that the nomination day for the 13th general election will fall on April 20 and the polling day on May 5.
“Our seven-member panel Election Commission has a special meeting today to discuss matters relating to the election … The important dates are: Nomination day on April 20… polling day on May 5,” the EC chairman said.
Speaking at a press conference at the EC office in Putrajaya today, Abdul Aziz said these dates are chosen as “they are not close to” any other dates of significance.
"We have also consulted with the Department of Meteorology and they have said that these two dates have a positive weather forecast," he told a packed press conference.
Abdul Aziz added that it has allocated RM400 million to hold the upcoming federal and state elections.
"Compared to the last election, this is expensive - but who knows? Perhaps GE14 will be even more expensive," he said.
The Parliament was dissolved last Wednesday to pave way for the election, which is expected to be hotly-contested between the ruling Barisan Nasional and opposition Pakatan Rakyat.
At the press conference, the EC chairman expressed his hope that the 13th general election will be the "best election yet".
He said that there have been at least 19 changes made to the law, new guidelines put in place and a code of ethics had been introduced.
"If everyone follows the rules, hopefully this will be the most peaceful election in Malaysia," he said.
Adbul Aziz also said that the EC does clean up the electoral roll from time to time in order to keep it as clean as possible.
"We have to follow the law. We cannot simply change names and addresses of the people. Of course there is room for improvement but where in the world is there an electoral roll that is 100% clean? We try our best," he said.
The 13th general election will see a total of 13.3 million voters within the country with an additional 6,298 Malaysian voters overseas.
A total of 222 election officers and 1,088 assistant officers will be deployed at polling stations across the country.
A further 379 enforcement officers will be given authority to oversee the campaigning period.
The EC chairman also declared there will be no room for "pondok panas" on polling day on May 5.
"There will be no more pondok panas. If people try and set up a booth, it will be taken down. It is not allowable under the law," he said.
"Things will be kept as clean as possible during the election. Things only get dirty because of the actions of political parties and their supporters," he added.
Abdul Aziz added that campaigning and polling will continue as normal in Lahad Datu and the surrounding areas.
"I leave it to the police and security forces to do their job and determine if extra security is needed as they know the situation. From what I have been told, the situation is getting better - so campaigning and polling will carry on," he added.
Commenting on the release of the election results, Abdul Aziz said it would be announced as soon as possible.
"We hope that this time the announcement will be made very quickly. The information will be available on our website. The process of counting votes and verifying them is very easy anyway, unless problems occur," he said.
He also said postal voting can be done at any time, with early voting beginning on April 30, 2013.