Justice For All Malaysia

The Pensiangan By-Election (updated)

Posted on: September 8, 2008

Are we kept busy for a reason?
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EC to decide on by-election after Sept 22
Beh Lih Yi | Sep 8, 08 1:49pm Malaysiakini.com
The Election Commission (EC) can only decide after Sept 22 whether to call a by-election the Pensiangan parliamentary seat, which was declared vacant by an election court today.

The seat, which Barisan Nasional’s Joseph Kurup won uncontested during nominations on Feb 24, was declared vacant by the Kota Kinabalu Election Court. It upheld a petition filed by PKR member Danny Anthony Andipai.

Contacted for immediate comments, EC chief Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said the commission will only be able to decide in two weeks as to whether a by-election needs to be called.

This is because the election judge has 14 days to notify the EC of his decision, while Kurup also has 14 days to decide whether to file an appeal with the Federal Court.

“A by-election will (only) be held (immediately) if there is no appeal (by Kurup), so we have to wait until after the 14-day period to decide,” Abdul Rashid (left) told Malaysiakini.

If Kurup does not file an appeal, a by-election will have to be called by the EC within 30 days.

Under the election law, Kurup can file an appeal with the Federal Court within 14 days.

The Federal Court will then have six months to hear and rule on the case. Its decision is final and cannot be challenged. Should it uphold the election court’s decision, a by-election will have to be called.

Deadline missed

If there is a by-election, it is likely to be the second by-election since the general election on March 8.

The first was on Aug 26 in Permatang Pauh, which was vacated by PKR’s Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to pave the way for her husband Anwar Ibrahim to return to Parliament. He defeated the BN candidate by some 16,000 votes.

In the Pensiangan election petition, Andipai – who intended to run as a candidate – named Kurup, returning officer Bubudan OT Majalu and the EC as respondents.

Kurup, who is Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah president and was subsequently made the deputy rural development minister, won the seat uncontested after Andipai’s candidacy was rejected.

On nomination day, Andipai and another candidate Saimeh Usau had missed the 10am deadline to file their nomination papers.

They however claimed they had been blocked on their way to the nomination centre.
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Kurup’s Pensiangan seat declared vacant
Sep 8, 08 11:37am
The Pensiangan parliamentary seat, won by Barisan Nasional’s Joseph Kurup on March 8 general election, has been declared vacant by the Kota Kinabalu Election Court today.

MCPX

The decision by High Court judge Justice David Wong Dak Wah could pave way for a by-election for this constituency which was won uncontested by Kurup.

However recent amendments to the election laws allow Kurup to appeal the decision at the Federal Court.

pensiangan sabah parliament seat 080908The petition was filed by PKR’s Danny Anthony Andipai, who was also a candidate for the seat.

He had named Kurup, returning officer, Bubudan OT Majalu, and the Election Commission as respondents.

Kurup won the seat uncontested on Feb 24 nomination day after Andipai’s candidacy was rejected after he had submitted his nomination papers after the 10am deadline.

On the nomination day, both Andipai and another candidate Saimeh Usau had missed the deadline and wanted to submit their papers after the expiry of the deadline.

They claimed they have been blocked on their way to the nomination centre.

They were subsequently allowed to do so, with Andipai’s nomination papers accepted at 10.25am and Saimeh’s forms five minutes later.

However, during the one-hour objection period from 11am, Kurup had raised objections to the late submissions and they were accepted by the returning officer. He then disqualified the two candidates from contesting.

Kurup is the president of the Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah president and was subsequently appointed deputy rural development minister after the general election. He is also a former Sabah deputy chief minister.

Troubling conduct

Justice Wong, in his 36-page judgment, said the rejection of Andipai’s nomination papers meant that the candidate’s constitutional right to take part in the election was breached.

Wong said – according to a Bernama report – the decision of the deputy director of the Sabah Election Commission to accept Andipai’s nomination papers was final although the candidate had exceeded the deadline.

Wong added that that decision to accept the nomination papers could not be overruled by the returning officer, Bubudan, under the pretext that there was an objection during the objection period.

The deputy director was exercising a power provided for by law in making the decision, said the judge who also ruled that Bubudan’s decision to uphold the objection was wrong.

“I find certain aspects of the second respondent’s (Bubudan’s) conduct troubling and when taken in its totality, I can only conclude that the decision made was definitely not one which a reasonable tribunal would come to,” he said.

Nomination day revisited

The judge also outlined on what had transpired on nomination day.

He said that Andipai arrived at the nomination centre at the Nabawan District Council Hall at about 9.35am to file his nomination papers for the seat.

After paying the deposit of RM15,000 he waited his turn but when he tried to submit his nomination papers, Bubudan refused to accept them on the ground that he was late in submitting them.

However, while the discussion was going on, one of the assistant returning officers, Osman Aganduk, sought the advice of the state election commission, which gave the directive to accept the nomination papers.

Wong said the directive, which came from the deputy director of the Sabah Election Commission, was relayed to Bubudan who then accepted Andipai’s nomination papers, which were endorsed with the acceptance time of 10.25am.

Objections closed at 11am and at about 1.25pm, Bubudan announced that Kurup was returned unopposed and declared him duly elected on the ground that the nomination papers of Andipai and independent candidate Saineh were delivered after 10am.

By-election in 30 days, pending appeal

Meanwhile, Election Commission chief Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman when contacted said the commission could only determine whether a by-election would be held only after Sept 22.

This was because the Election Court has a 14-day period to officially notify the EC on its decision, while Kurup also has two weeks to file an appeal to the Federal Court if he wants to.

“A by-election would be held (immediately) only if there is no appeal (from Kurup), so we have to wait until after the 14-day period to decide,” Abdul Rashid told Malaysiakini.

Under the election law, Kurup can file an appeal against the Election Court’s decision to the land’s highest court, the Federal Court, within 14 days.

The court will then have six months to hear and decide on the case. The Federal Court’s decision is final and cannot be challenged.

If there is no appeal from Kurup, a by-election will be called by the EC within 30 days.

Kurup told reporters that he has instructed his lawyers to file a stay of execution on today’s decision.

He added that he would also be appealing against the ruling.

“I’ve asked my lawyers to file for a stay of execution as soon as possible, even by today,” he said.

No longer a deputy minister

In a related matter, state BN chairperson and Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman said he accepted the court decision and expressed confidence of retaining the seat in the event of an imminent by-election.

And in Putrajaya, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak was quoted in a Bernama report as saying that Kurup will have to relinquish his deputy ministerial post following the election court’s decision today.

Najib said that a deputy minister must come from among members of parliament, adding that Kurup can be reappointed as a deputy minister if he is re-elected in the by-election.

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Must Attend Program

Please go to this link: https://justice4allkuantan.wordpress.com/2008/10/25/invitation-public-forum-the-isa-and-the-police-reform-process-whats-next-after-pak-lah/
To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards of people - Emily Cox

Siphoning EPF money

On 'Why should Valuecap borrow from EPF?' Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud: MTUC condemns the government's move to bail out Valuecap to support the local stock market using RM5 billion from EPF, as the provident fund is the custodian of the workers' money and not some sort of ‘automated teller machine' for the government.
If at all the EPF were to lend its money to the government, it has to be under the condition that there be transparency and accountability in the activities for which the money has been purposed. We want to know who is doing what with the money that belongs to the workers. This is the hard-earned money of the workers, their retirement plan. How is this bailout plan going to benefit the workers? We also question the reason for this bailout. If the economic fundamentals in Malaysia are strong and reserves sufficient as has been stated several times by the government, then why is there a need to offer so much money to the GLCs? Second Finance Minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop should prove how the EPF would profit from this loan. Bernama had reported that Nor had given the assurance that the loan given out by EPF would reap profits for the fund judging from Valuecap's past performance. But where is the paperwork and calculations to show that this move will benefit the EPF? MTUC is concerned that the loan might be mismanaged or misused and this, in turn, would affect the returns for the contributors. Mere assurances are not enough. We want to proof that this RM5 billion will not go down the drain. (The writer is president, MTUC). Sharyn: The government wants to use our pension money to prop up the Malaysian stock market which is the playing field of the rich people. If so, the government must ensure that the EPF account holders - who are predominantly the poor to average citizens of Malaysia - be guaranteed all of our pension money with a compound 8% growth (interest). It's so selfish and sick of the government to use the poor's pension money to help the rich to make more money with all the risks taken by the poor/average citizen. We can better use the RM% billion loans to Valuecap for our children's education, shelter, medical bills etc. Why not get those rich people to prop up the share market instead? Why should they park their money overseas and gamble with our EPF money instead? Kumar14: Who is behind this Valuecap organisation? Why suddenly, this separate entity is allowed to access funds from the EPF? Are they capable enough to handle it or is it just another desperate and blind move? It has been a very infamous trend where the people's funds are channeled to a company for investment purposes and suddenly POP! the funds disappear and there is nobody to be held responsible but a RM2 shell company. Charge who? Sue whom? The RM2 company (just a registered name)? We have seen this many times. People in power and with connections allow such things to go through and reap/rob the people's wealth and then blame it on organisations which actually don't exist. What if a lot of EPF funds are looted via such scams and nobody is to be pointed at? Where will the government get the funds to replenish the EPF? The people are very bored, disappointed, angry and frustrated at seeing all these dumb and unaccounted for measures being allowed by the government with lame excuses. Please, somebody verify the true purpose, integrity and capability of anybody attempting to use the people's fund.

Raja Petra

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