Sarawak state elections must be held before July 2011.

KUCHING: The Election Commission (EC) is ready to conduct the 10th Sarawak state election and has set aside RM30mil for the purpose, chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said.

Although the current term of the state assembly would only expire in July next year, he said, the commission was ready for the poll any time. “We are always ready,” he told reporters after opening the state-level voter registration exercise here Saturday.

Sarawak has 71 state seats. The EC allocated RM31mil to carry out the state election in 2006 with the bulk of the expenditure was for helicopter charges due to accessibility problems in certain areas.

On the voter registration exercise, Abdul Aziz said, the state EC targeted to register up to 450,000 people in the state who had reached the voting age of 21 but had yet to register as voters.

He urged political parties, government officers and non-governmental organisations to assist the commission in achieving the target.

He said the EC had carried out 187 outreach programmes during the first half of this year but the response was poor, with only 4,726 people having been registered under the programme.