Possible Kimanis by-election
Published on: Saturday, August 17, 2019
By: Jo Ann Mool
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Photo Source: Wikipedia
Kota Kinabalu: The Election Court on Friday declared null and void the results of the Kimanis parliamentary constituency won by Datuk Seri Anifah Aman (pic) in last year’s 14th general election. 

Sibu-based High Court Judge Datuk Lee Heng Cheong, in delivering his two-part decision, held that there were irregularities in the election process that affected the election result. 

He ruled that 284 additional ballots were improperly cast in one voting centre, while 57 additional ballots were found to have been improperly added in another voting centre.

In respect of the irregularities, the Election Court ordered the Returning Officer and Election Commission (EC) to pay cost of RM100,000 to petitioner Datuk Karim Bujang.

However, the court rejected the allegation by the petitioner that there was bribery and corrupt element in Anifah’s campaign and, thus, ordered Karim to pay RM105,000 to Anifah.

Karim, who was Parti Warisan Sabah candidate for Kimanis, named Anifah, the Returning Officer (RO) and EC as the first, second and third respondent, respectively, in the election petition.

Karim, among others, was seeking that Anifah was not duly elected as the Member of Parliament for the constituency and that the said election held on May 9 be declared void.

The Election Court, in dismissing the petition against Anifah, held, among others, that the petitioner failed to adduce credible evidence to prove general bribery and corrupt practices during the said election and that the petitioner had failed to prove its case against Anifah beyond reasonable doubt.

The court also held that the election held was void and that Anifah has not been duly elected as MP of Kimanis.

Judge Lee further held that the second respondent failed to conduct the said election and that the third respondent failed to ensure the second respondent conduct the said election in accordance with principle provided for under Section 5(1)(a) of the Elections Act 1958 and further failed to ensure the result of the said election was fair and accurate.

According to Karim’s lead counsel Frederick Chang, they managed to prove that the election was not held properly in accordance with Section 32(b) of the Election Offences Act, 1954, which was in contravention of regulation laws and that the contravention affected the result of the election regarding four polling stations at the said parliamentary.

Meanwhile, Anifah’s counsel Ansari Abdullah informed the court that they have been instructed to file an appeal against the court’s decision. 

The court also lifted the interim media gag order following an application from Chang to remove the said order which was granted on April 10.

The court had, on April 10, consented to an application by one of Anifah’s counsel, who applied for the court order to be placed on further publication on witness statements, which was held in open court, so as not to prejudice their client.

The court had issued an interim order that the print and electronic media not to publish witness statements’ contents used in the proceeding, particularly the facts alleged, the truth of which is yet to be determined by the court.

Together with Chang were counsel Wilson Lai and Syaiful Sufyyan Sidin. 

Anifah was also represented by counsel Peter Lee, Roland Cheng, Rizwandean B.Borhan, Safrin Saleh Nain, Mohd Amirul Amin and Wilson Chang. 

The RO and EC were represented by counsel Muammar Julkarnain, Faizal Sarbi and Abdul Fikry Jaafar Abdullah.


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