11 file petitions to challenge GE results

Ravin Palanisamy Noor Azam Shairi

Section 38 (1) of the Election Offences Act 1954 states that election petitions must be presented within 21 days after election results are gazetted. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, January 15, 2023.

ELEVEN election petitions have been filed to challenge the results of the general election (GE), sources said.

Insiders from several parties told The Malaysian Insight that these petitions were based on the Election Commission’s (EC) GE official report on finalised results of 211 parliamentary constituencies.

One of the lawyers involved in the petitions, Mohamed Baharudeen, said the documents challenged three election results in Terengganu and one each in Kelantan and Malacca.

All these seats were won by Perikatan Nasional (PN).

“In Terengganu, petitions have been filed in Kuala Terengganu, Kemaman and Marang, while in Kelantan, it was Gua Musang, and Masjid Tanah in Malacca,” Baharudeen told The Malaysian Insight.

“In Gua Musang, Umno’s Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah did not file the petition. It was his representative who did in his capacity as a voter.

“In Kuala Terengganu, Marang and Kemaman, two were filed by the losing candidates and the other by a voter.

“In Masjid Tanah, it was filed by the losing candidate,” he added.

Baharudeen said lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah will be the lead counsel for the petitioner in Gua Musang.

Besides Shafee, other lawyers involved are Mohd Hafarizam Harun, Abu Bakar Isa Rahmat, Mohamed Baharudeen Mohamed Ariff, Norhazira Abu Haiyan and Muhammad Amin Othman.

In Terengganu, the same lawyers, save for Shafee, will represent the three petitioners.

In Masjid Tanah, the legal team comprises Mohd Hafarizam, Amin Othman, Hazira and Rosfinah Rahmat.

In Gua Musang, voter Azmi Mahmood, filed a challenge to nullify the election results.

He named PN’s Azizi Abu Naim, the EC, and returning officer Ab Fattah Hasbullah as respondents.

Azmi claims that money was paid out to some voters in return for their votes. Several boxes of votes from certain voting centres were not accounted for, he said.

Azizi won by a razor-thin majority of 163 after garnering 21,826 votes, defeating Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who had held the seat since 1974.

Apart from these the five parliamentary results, petitions had also been filed in Tenom and Lubok Antu constituencies.

In Tenom, Peter Anthony filed an election petition after his nomination to contest for the seat was rejected by the returning officer.

Meanwhile in Lubok Antu, Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) candidate for Dr Johnical Rayong Ngipa, who was narrowly defeated, filed a petition to annul the result.

According to sources, the other seats where petitions had been filed are Segamat, Tuaran, Putatan and Sandakan.

Section 38 (1) of the Election Offences Act 1954 states that election petitions must be presented within 21 days after election results are gazetted.

Section 35A of the act states that the trial must be completed within six months from the date the petition is filed.

Meanwhile, Section 36B states that an appeal to the Federal Court must be disposed of within six months.

In the recent GE, BN suffered a heavy blow, losing many of its traditional seats to PN, winning only 30 seats in all. PN’s Bersatu and PAS also managed a clean sweep in all Malay seats.  –  January 15, 2023.

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