Rush for nomination papers points to crowded polls

PUTRAJAYA • With just two days to go to Nomination Day for the Malaysian polls, the Election Commission (EC) has already sold more than 5,000 nomination forms, 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.

A total of 5,468 nomination forms were snapped up between the time the EC announced the election date on April 10 and Tuesday. Of these, 1,836 nomination papers sold were for Parliamentary seats while the remaining 3,632 were 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. Each nomination paper costs RM20 (S$6.80).

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 for the '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 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 pitted against the Pakatan Harapan opposition pact and Parti Islam SeMalaysia in multiple three-cornered fights nationwide.

Campaigning for the general election will take place after Nomination Day over a period of 11 days.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 26, 2018, with the headline 'Rush for nomination papers points to crowded polls'. Print Edition | Subscribe