KUALA LUMPUR - Funds to the tune of RM4 million (S$1.53 million) have been spent on four by-elections held since the 13th General Election.
The Kajang by-election, held following the resignation of PKR assemblyman Lee Chin Cheh, was the costliest of the four.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim told the Dewan Negara that RM1.6 million was spent on the March 23 by-election.
He said RM910,213 was spent on the Balingian by-election in Sarawak, which was carried out six days after the Kajang by-election.
"Although Balingian is (a) larger (area) compared with Kajang, the cost for a by-election is determined based on the number of registered voters and election staff.
"The number of constituents in Kajang is greater, with 39,278 registered voters, compare with 13,366 registered voters in Balingian."
Shahidan said the Kuala Besut by-election in Terengganu and Sungai Limau by-election in Kedah cost RM760,000 and RM1.11 million, respectively.
He was responding to a question from Senator Saiful Izham Ramli, who asked the government to provide a breakdown of the total cost of by-elections held after GE13.
Shahidan took a swipe at the opposition when he was asked about the government's efforts to control by-election costs.
"It is simple. Do not resign without valid reasons.
"We (assemblymen) should adopt mature politics.
"When we have been elected by the people, it is our responsibility to serve our constituents," he said.
Two by-elections are on the cards in Penang and Perak.
The Election Commission (EC) has fixed May 25 for the Bukit Gelugor parliamentary by-election, following the death of its member of parliament, Karpal Singh, on April 17, following a road accident.
The EC is expected to meet tomorrow to fix a date for the Teluk Intan parliamentary by-election after its MP, Seah Leong Peng, died of cancer last Thursday.