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24 Sept decision on Bandar Kuching election petition

KUCHING, 5 Sept 2008: DAP vice-chairman Chong Chieng Jen will know on 24 Sept 2008 whether he can keep the Bandar Kuching parliamentary seat which he won in the March 8 general election.

Justice Clement Allan Skinner fixed the date today after hearing clarifications from both sides on their submissions in the election petition brought against Chong, 37, a lawyer, who defeated Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Sim Yaw Yen with a 9,052- vote majority for the seat.

The petition was filed by a voter, Kho Whai Phiaw, 64, who sought to nullify Chong’s election on the ground of corrupt practice of undue influence.

Kho was represented by counsel Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Henry Ling Kuong Meng and Frankie Tieh Kah Siang while Chong’s counsel were Chan Kok Keong, Chong Siew Chiang, Wong Ho Leng and Alvin Yong.

In the petitioner’s written submission, submitted on 19 Aug, his counsel urged the Election Court to declare the election result for the constituency null and void with costs as he had successfully proven that Chong had committed corrupt practices of undue influence.

Chong’s counsel, in their written submission, submitted on 29 Aug, said the charges of corruption were incomplete because Kho had failed to state that the alleged offences were in connection with the election, which is an essential ingredient of the offence under Section 32 (c) of the Election Offence Act 1954.

The hearing, which began on 2 July and lasted 25 days, saw a total of 15 witnesses testifying. – Bernama

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