PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - With just two days to go to the Nomination Day for the Malaysia polls, the Election Commission (EC) has already sold more than 5,000 copies of nomination papers, a possible indication that this election will be a very crowded affair.
Nomination day for Malaysia's 14th general election, which will be held on May 9, falls on Saturday (April 28).
A total of 5,468 nomination forms have been snapped up from between the time the EC announced election dates on April 10 and Tuesday.
Of the figure, 1,836 nomination papers sold are for Parliamentary seats while the remaining 3,632 are for state seats.
That is more than eight for every parliamentary seat and seven for each state seat. A total of 222 parliamentary seats and 505 state seats are being contested.
Political parties in Sabah and Labuan took up the most forms, buying up 344 parliamentary and 726 state nomination forms respectively.
This was followed by Johor where the EC office sold 234 parliamentary and 369 state nomination papers.
Selangor EC sold 657 nomination papers to date. Each nomination paper costs RM20.
An EC official did not discount the possibility that the high number of sales showed a large number of likely contestants.
"This can be the case. But we do know that candidates and political parties buy extra forms 'just in case' scenario," he said.
The nomination forms must be properly completed before the returning officers can declare the candidates eligible for contest.
Candidates are required to pay a deposit of RM10,000 (S$3,383) for a parliamentary seat or RM5,000 for a state seat.
The deposit is forfeited if the candidate fails to get one eighth of the total number of votes cast in the constituency contested.
The upcoming polls, expected to be a closely fought one, will see ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN) pitted against the Pakatan Harapan opposition pact and Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) in multiple three-cornered fights nationwide.
Campaigning for the general election will take place after Nomination day over a period of 11 days.