6 states will hit the polls soon to elect their respective state governments.
Six states in Malaysia have reached an agreement to dissolve their respective state Legislative Assemblies (DUN) by the end of June.
This will be followed by the state elections which must be held within 60 days of the DUN’s dissolution.
The six states are Selangor which is set dissolve its DUN this 23 June, Negeri Sembilan (30 June), Penang (28 June), Kelantan (22 June), Kedah (proposed date 28 June) while Terengganu has yet to decide on a date.
But why only six state elections when Malaysia has 13 states, and the country just concluded its 15th General Election (GE15) in November last year?
One of the reasons was that these six states decided against holding their elections together with the federal to save costs.
As reported by The Star, Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari stated that it is about looking at the costs, personnel, and other concerns, not about winning or losing.
Another reason, as reported by the New Straits Times, was that Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was concerned of the flood and monsoon preparations concerning three states under the coalition.
According to political analyst Dr Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani of Universiti Utara Malaysia’s (UUM) School of International Studies, said PH, then the opposition, did not seem to support Barisan Nasional’s (BN) decision to hold GE15 at the time.
He also opined that PH wanted to wait until after the results of the federal election to gauge public opinion, possibly because they were not prepared then as reported by New Straits Times.
State and General Elections
In Malaysia’s parliamentary democracy, the legislative, judicial, and executive branches each have their own set of authorities.
The country’s highest legislative body is the Parliament. Its primary duty is to enact, amend, and repeal laws. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the Senate (Dewan Negara), and the House of Representatives (Dewan Rakyat) are its three main constituents.
Members of Parliament (MP) are elected by the rakyat in the General Election (GE) held every five years.
A state legislative assembly’s duties include debating and passing laws concerning the management of the state and local governments ( Majilis Daerah, Majlis Perbandaran, and Majilis Bandaraya), public facilities, social welfare, youth and sports, culture, and land and natural resources aside from oil and gas.
In a nutshell, an MP represents you in parliament to voice out national issues, whereas an assemblyman speaks on your behalf to voice local issues at the state legislative assembly. You are represented by one at the state level and another at the federal level.
Procedure of Voting For State Elections
Applications for postal ballots in the state election opened on 15 June 2023 (Thursday), according to an announcement made by the Election Commission (EC) on their Facebook page.
The postal ballot application is open to several categories:
- Category 1A – Election Officer, EC member or officer, Media Officer.
- Category 1B – Malaysian citizens living abroad.
- Category 1C – Agency or organization.
The postal ballot application can be done online [HERE].
For police or military personnel under Category 1A, the method of applying for a postal vote is still maintained manually, i.e., it is necessary to upload Form 1A on the EC portal from 15 June.