Court rules BN to retain Jasin seat

Khairah N. Karim

KUALA LUMPUR: The Election Court today ruled that an election petition should be filed in the High Court of the particular state in which the election was held.

This follows the decision of judge Datuk Che Mohd Ruzima Ghazali in allowing a preliminary objection (PO) by Jasin member of parliament Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah against the petition filed by Pakatan Harapan 14th General Election (GE14) candidate for Jasin parliamentary constituency Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan.

The judge also dismissed the petition after allowing the PO.

He said there were merits in the PO raised by Ahmad who was the first respondent and that the petitioner had failed to comply with the basic provisions under Article 118 of the Federal Constitution.

He also said the filing of a petition should comply with the law and it should be filed at a High Court where the election was held.

He said, in this case, the Malacca High Court had jurisdiction.

“I find that the objection raised by the first respondent has merit and the petitioner has also failed to comply with the provisions under paragraph 4(1)(b) of the Election Petition Rules 1954.

“Therefore, the petition by the petitioner should be dismissed at this stage,” the judge said.

Following the decision, Ahmad will retain his Jasin parliamentary seat.

The court ordered Khairuddin to pay RM20,000 in costs to the Barisan Nasional politician and RM5,000 each to returning officer Zamrud Yahya and the Election Commission (EC) who were the second and third respondents in the petition.

Khairuddin filed the petition on June 14, under Section 34 (C) of the Elections Offences Act 1954.

Khairuddin who was former Batu Kawan Umno vice-chief had sought for a declaration or an order that he had won the Jasin parliamentary seat in GE14 and demanded the election results of the Jasin parliamentary seat be declared null and void.

Meanwhile, Khairuddin said he respected the court’s decision with an open heart.

“In any situation, I will still act as the ‘coordinator’ for the Jasin parliamentary constituency and will continue serving the people in Jasin without regard of race, religion or differences in political ideology,” he said.

He said he would not appeal the decision.

Khairuddin lost to Ahmad who is a BN candidate by 219 majority votes in Jasin. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd