Johor man allowed to challenge EC, govt over denial to vote in state polls

R.K. Tamileswaaran is seeking a declaration that the EC acted illegally in denying his right to vote on March 12. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, June 22, 2022.

THE Kuala Lumpur High Court today granted a voter from the Iskandar Puteri parliamentary constituency permission to initiate legal proceedings in relation to a purported decision by the Election Commission (EC) to bar him from voting in the Johor state elections on March 12. 

Judge Noorin Badaruddin came to the decision after dismissing the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) objection to R.K. Tamileswaaran’s application for a judicial review against the EC and government as the first and second respondents respectively. 

She said the application had merits and set July 6 for case management.

The proceedings today were attended by senior federal counsel Mohammad Al-Saifi Hashim and Nik Ahmad Marzuki Nik Mohamad and federal counsel Nor Aqilah Abdul Halim from the AGC while Tamileswaaran was represented by lawyers New Sin Yew and Beatrice Chin Yuen Xin.

In the application filed on June 8, Tamileswaaran, 26, had sought a court order to quash the EC’s decision or action that prevented him from voting on March 12 on the grounds that he was still in quarantine after being confirmed positive for Covid-19 on March 7.

He had also applied for a declaration that the EC acted illegally in denying his right to vote besides a declaration that the EC violated his constitutional rights under article 119 of the Federal Constitution.

According to Tamileswaaran, he was instructed to undergo quarantine at home after being confirmed positive for Covid-19 and on polling day, he entered the sixth day of quarantine.

He claimed that on polling day, at 11.58am, he took a Covid-19 self-test at home, which showed negative. 

Tamilswaaran said earlier, at 10.30am, his parents had gone to the polling centre and had enquired with an EC officer whether he was allowed to vote, to which the officer said yes as a special voting area had been prepared for cases like his. 

According to him, after arriving at the voting centre at 12.55pm, RELA officers and policemen on duty, upon checking his MySejahtera app and finding his risk status to be “high”, asked him to proceed to the special voting area. 

However, Tamilswaaran said, he was shocked when an EC officer informed him that the EC had just received fresh instructions that those undergoing quarantine were not allowed to vote and that they must obtain prior permission from the district health officer for this purpose. – Bernama, June 22, 2022.

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