With less than a week to go for candidates
With less than a week to go nomination papers have been selling like pisang goreng (banana fritters) with Umno leading the pack with around 200 copies for their party alone. State Election Commission (EC) Chairman Hj Idrus Ismail said the sale of nomination papers, which is going at RM2O per copy, has been going “very well” with political parties and also independents snapping up copies. “All the major parties such as Umno and PBS have taken up copies and we are waiting for a few more parties to come by over the next few days,” he said when contacted yesterday. “We have even issued copies to independent candidates although we can only issue one copy for each independent, which covers both the parliamentary and State nominations. “However for those who come with the letter of request from their respective parties, we will give more according to how many are requested” he said. Idrus revealed that apart from Umno, Parti Keadilan Rakyat took the second highest number of nomination papers with some 150 copies while PBS took around 50 copies. “Of course this does not mean they will be going for that many seats. Some of the copies are taken as reserve in the event of any mistakes made when filling in the papers,” he said. Idrus noted that the EC had also ordered for a reprint of the State electoral rolls, which he said have also been selling very quickly. “We have already gone for a reprint two or three times. Our availability depends on the order, so if you don’t order then we cannot immediately accommodate the demand because we must first service those who have placed orders. “The reason for this is because we want to minimise wastage. If we print a lot of copies but there are no takers, then that is wastage and we want to minimise that possibility,” he said. Idrus was asked to comment on a complaint by Parti Setia President Datuk Pengiran Othman Rauf, who said it is unreasonable for the EC to expect orders to be placed before anyone can pick up a copy of the electoral rolls. Othman said the EC should instead have ample stock of the rolls to ensure it can be made available to interested parties at any given time. Idrus noted that the lack of available copies is a small matter that will be resolved after a couple of days. “The problem here is that some did not make prearrangements. If you simply come in and ask for a copy we can’t accommodate that. “We do have copies of various parliamentary areas but we only printed 10 copies of the Statewide electoral rolls and all were booked earlier. “Of course this is just a minor problem and we have placed the order for them (Setia). They should have their copies by tomorrow (today) or the day after they still have many days to March 8 so there is ample time for them to check the rolls,” he said. Nomination Day falls on February 24.