KOTA KINABALU, June 26 — The Federal Court today struck out the Sipitang parliamentary election petition appeal, leaving Yamani Hafez Musa its MP.
Chief Justice Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat led the five-member panel that dismissed the appeal that was struck out by the High Court here last April 8 with costs.
“The court was not persuaded with the Petitioner’s appeal that the Election Court erred in his decision. Therefore, the appeal is dismissed with costs of RM40,000 to the first respondent and RM30,000 to the second and third respondent,” said Tengku Maimum in her judgement.
Returning officer Matlin Dullah and the Election Commission of Malaysia was the second and third respondents.
The panel consisted of Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop, Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed, Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan and Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang.
“The judgement is correct. The petitioner was given directions on multiple occasions to be ready for trial but the directions were not heeded and not a single document was filed. That is contumelious conduct and the court was correct in striking out the election petition,” said the counsel for Yamani, Tengku Fuad Ahmad.
“He can now get on with his duties of serving the people of Sipitang,” he said of the Sipitang MP, who is the son of ousted Sabah chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman.
Yamani, when interviewed, said he was satisfied with the result and thankful that the ordeal is now over.
“Syukur alhamdullilah. It’s been a long trial... even went all the way to Federal court. I’m happy with the result. We had a great team, a dream team, good lead counsel and lawyers around him. I’m very happy with the results,” he said.
Last April 8, High Court Judge Azhahari Kamal Ramli threw out the case when petitioner Noor Hayaty Mustapha of Parti Warisan Sabah’s lawyers requested a postponement.
Noor Hayaty was represented by lawyer Chong Jin Dau.
The case was fixed in March for 32 days of trial, giving the lawyers for both the petitioner and respondent a month to complete filing the necessary paperwork.
Hafez, a first-term MP, won the seat by 852 votes on a Barisan Nasional ticket, polling 12,038 against his closest challenger Noor Hayaty who obtained 11,186 votes.
The court had last October struck out the petition with costs but the Federal Court in Putrajaya on February 18, remitted the petition to the Election Court for trial.