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Court reserves judgment in two election petitions

PUTRAJAYA, 15 Jan 2009: The Federal Court here today reserved judgment in two appeals against the High Court’s refusal to nullify the election results for the Kuala Kangsar parliamentary and Kubu Gajah state seats.

Both seats were won by Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates in the 8 March general election last year.

Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, who presided over the hearing with Federal Court Justices Datuk S Agustine Paul and Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, said the court would deliver its decision on a date to be fixed.

The Kuala Kangsar seat was won by Wanita Umno chief Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz and the Kubu Gajah seat by Datuk Seri Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar.

In the general election, Rafidah polled 10,735 votes to defeat Perak PAS deputy commissioner Dr Khairuddin Abd Malik with a 1,458-vote majority, while Raja Ahmad Zainuddin polled 4,114 votes to beat PAS candidate Mohamad Nazri Din by 66 votes.

Rafidah retained her seat for a seventh term after first winning it in 1982.

On 4 July last year, the Ipoh High Court judge, Datuk Zakaria Sam, rejected the Kuala Kangsar petition filed by a voter, Ahmad Jamaluddin Abd Majid, and held that Rafidah had signed the original nomination form, while the other two nomination papers which were not signed were copies and it was sufficient to prove that she really intended to contest the seat.

In his election petition, Ahmad Jamaluddin, who also named returning officer Datuk Mohd Ghazali Jalal and the Election Commission as respondents, sought to have the election result for the seat declared null and void on ground that Rafidah did not sign two of the nomination forms as provided for under the First Schedule of the Election (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1981.

In rejecting the petition for the Kubu Gajah seat filed by Mohamad Nazri, Justice Zakaria questioned whether the 500-100 people present at the campaign were registered voters of Kubu Gajah.

Mohamad Nazri, in his election petition, claimed that Raja Ahmad Zainuddin had committed an election offence while campaigning at a house in Kubu Gajah.

Today, Mohamed Hanipa Maidin, counsel for petitioner Ahmad Jamaluddin, submitted that the RO should have rejected Rafidah’s nomination form as she did not sign two of the three forms.

Mohamed Hanipa said Rafidah’s failure to sign the two forms showed that she was not serious enough to be the candidate for the seat and therefore, had deprived the other candidates of being declared the uncontested winner.

Counsel Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin, for Rafidah, submitted that even though Rafidah had only signed one of the three nomination forms, it showed that Rafidah wanted to be a candidate in the last general election.

On the Kubu Gajah petition, Mohamed Hanipa, who represented Mohamad Nazri (petitioner), submitted that Raja Ahmad Zainuddin had committed a corrupt practice while campaigning at a house in Kubu Gajah after he told his voters to “Vote so that Barisan Nasional wins, ask for anything and we will give”.

Mohamed Hanipa said the petitioner had sufficient ingredients to commit Raja Ahmad Zainuddin for a corrupt practice and the election judge was wrong in rejecting the point of corrupt practice in the petitioner’s pleading.

However, counsel Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun, for Raja Ahmad Zainuddin, submitted that the petitioner must prove the allegations on corrupt practice on two elements — that there was such inducement by Raja Ahmad Zainuddin to the voters and that the voters had voted Raja Ahmad Zainuddin because of his inducement. — Bernama


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