Election Court dismisses Umno's Mohamad Hasan application to strike out election petition

Nur Aqidah Azizi

SEREMBAN: The Election Court here today has dismissed an application by Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan to strike out an election petition filed by PKR member Dr S. Streram to nullify the former’s win as Rantau assemblyman in the 14th General Election (GE). Judge Datuk Azimah Omar made the decision after reviewing and considering all affidavits and written submissions filed by both parties. She said Mohamad, as the first respondent, had raised eight non-compliance petitioner’s petitions against the requirements of the Election Act 1954. Azimah dismissed Mohamad’s application on grounds that the non-compliance generated by the first respondent had no merit and the reason did not justify the respondent’s move to cancel the petition. On June 25, Mohamad filed the preliminary objection to strike out the election petition filed by Streram for the Rantau state seat in the Rembau parliamentary constituency. Dr Streram filed a petition on May 23 to nullify the EC’s decision to declare Mohamad as the winner of the state seat in the May 9 GE. Mohamad, who was then Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar won the seat unopposed after the Election Commission (EC) returning officer Amino Agos Suyub refused to allow Dr Streram into the nomination centre as he did not have a valid pass issued by the commission. Dr Streram had named Mohamad as the first respondent and Amino Agos and the commission as the second and third respondents, respectively. He had also sought an order compelling the EC to hold a by-election for the seat. Counsel for the second and third respondents withdrew their applications to strike out Dr Streram’s petition during proceedings on Aug 8. Azimah fixed Sept 12, 13, 14, 27, 28, Oct 1 and 2 to hear Dr Streram’s petition against Mohamad, including Amino Agus and the commission. Mohamad was represented by a five-member legal team led by Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun, while Dr Streram’s four-member counsel was led by Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla. When met outside the court, Mohamad said he would request his legal team to file an appeal as soon as possible within the stipulated 14 days. “I have strong basis for this - I don’t have anything to do with what had happened to Dr Streram. “I can sit on the witness bench. I was only a candidate and was there to send in my nomination papers. After that, we waited in the hall until everything was settled. “I was surprised when my name was announced as the winner, unopposed for the seat,” he said Meanwhile, Mohd Hafarizam said his team had studied all eight objections raised in the petition and would be presenting three witnesses for the proceeding. Earlier, more than 100 people gathered at the court as early as 8am to show their supports for both Mohamad and Dr Streram. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd