26 July 2007

Teachers and government staff to serve in polls

The Star

PUTRAJAYA: Thousands of teachers and officers from various government departments throughout the country have been selected to serve as Election Commission (EC) staff for the next general election.

“They will undergo a training programme depending on their job specifications during the election process,” EC secretary Datuk Kamaruzaman Mohd Noor said.

He said the teachers and local government and district office staff would form part of the 200,000 staff members needed to run the next election.

“We have about 13 teams providing training throughout the country for these (temporary) personnel,” he said.

Kamaruzaman said those chosen to serve as returning officers, assistant returning officers and presiding officers would have to undergo a two-day training course.

“Election or counting and checking clerks as well as ushers will be required to attend a one-day course.

“We are scheduled to train the 200,000 personnel by the end of September,” he said, adding that some of the teachers and government office staff were selected by their respective department heads while others volunteered.

EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said earlier that the commission would only be ready to conduct the general election after September.

He added that by the end of September, the EC would have trained 200,000 election workers and procured all the equipment needed for the polls, including see-through ballot boxes and special punchers to be distributed to the country’s 25,000 polling districts.

Abdul Rashid said the EC had budgeted RM220mil for the general election but might have to ask for an additional RM100mil for new equipment.

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