40 can’t vote or contest

Monday February 11, 2008 (The Star)
PUTRAJAYA: A total of 40 candidates or their election agents who took part in the 2004 general election have been disqualified from voting and contesting in the coming elections because they did not submit their election expense statement.
Election Commission (EC) secretary Datuk Kamaruzaman Mohd Noor said these candidates and agents did not submit any form of statement within the stipulated 31 days after the results were gazetted.
“If they do not submit the statement, they have to face the consequences, even if they had won a seat in the past general election.
“In accordance with the provisions of the law, those affected cannot vote or stand for election within the next five years from the gazetting of the 2004 election results.”
Of the 40, 19 candidates and agents were from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), eight were independents, while five each were from PAS and Setia.
According to Section 23 of the Election Offences Act, contesting candidates are required to submit a statement of their election expenditure.
The Act also states that candidates or their agents cannot spend more than RM200,000 for MPs and RM100,000 for state assemblymen.
Kamaruzaman said 25 of the 449 candidates who contested for parliamentary seats in 2004 lost their election deposit because they did not get one-eighth of the total votes cast.
Twelve candidates who withdrew their candidature got their election deposits forfeited, according to the 2004 General Election Report published by the EC.
PKR information chief Tian Chua said most of the 19 were from Sabah and rural areas, and that the party’s elected MP and those who contested in the urban areas had filed their expense statement.
“Candidates and their agents should be responsible and file their expense statement.
“I don’t think those who did not file their returns will stand in the coming elections,” he said.
PAS secretary-general Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar said he was not aware of the matter.
“If there are genuine candidates who had failed to submit their election expense reports, then we accept the decision,” he said.