Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bid to compel EC to call by-elections in Perak - Malaysiakini

Hafiz Yatim | Mar 10, 09 6:53pm

Perak legislative assembly speaker V Sivakumar has filed an application for a judicial review of the Election Commission’s (EC) decision not to call for by-elections in three state seats.

Also named as respondents were Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang), Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu (Changkat Jering), Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang), who left Pakatan Rakyat last month to become Independents friendly to the Barisan Nasional.

Sivakumar (left in photo) filed the application today in his personal capacity at the Kuala Lumpur High Court (Special and Appellate Powers Division).

This is to ensure that he can appear in court and appoint lawyers to represent him, and not be forcibly represented by the Perak state legal advisor Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid, as was the case in an earlier situation.

Sivakumar arrived at the High Court registry in Jalan Duta at about 3.20pm and filed his application about 25 minutes later. He was accompanied by Pakatan Rakyat exco members Ngeh Koo Ham and Nga Kor Ming.

Earlier today, three ousted Pakatan exco members - A Sivanesan (Sungkai), Tai Sing Ng (Kuala Sepetang) and Chen Fook Chye (Keranji) - had filed a separate application for a similar judicial review of the EC’s decision.

They were joined by three voters - Ahmad Sabri Wahab, Ahmad Latip Ariffin and Foo Hong Wai - from the Behrang, Changkat Jering and Jelapang.constitutuency respectively. All six named the Radzi, Osman, Hee and the EC as respondents.

The application, filed by the law firm Chooi & Co, served as a back-up in case Sivakumar is not allowed to be represented in court.

Ngeh said the additional expenditure is worthwhile to make sure that the application is heard and justice is done, following recent instances of ‘one-sided involvement’ of the judiciary.

Sivakumar, who is Tronoh assemblyperson, is seeking an order for the three assemblypersons to present authorities or powers stipulating they are still elected representatives for their respective constituencies.

In addition, he is seeking:

* that the three state seats be declared vacant and cleared following the resignation of the three representatives from Pakatan;

* an injunction against the three respondents or their agents to make a representation that they are the rightful elected representatives and are responsible, with the functions and job as a state assemblypersons;

* an order of certiorari to quash the EC’s decision not to call for by-elections in Behrang, Changkat Jering and Jelapang;

* an order of mandamus (to compel) the EC to hold by-elections in the three state seats; and

* punitive, aggravated and exemplary damages from the court as a result of the course of the action and other relief sought and awarded by the court.

EC’s ‘wisdom’ in question

At a press conference later, Sivakumar said he had received letters of resignation from Osman and Jamaluddin on Feb 1, followed by Hee's resignation on Feb 3.

"Following that, I wrote to the EC to inform it of the vacancies and to call for by-elections,” he said.

"However, the EC did not do so and in fact decided that the three remained elected representatives. I question the EC's wisdom in rejecting my decision."

Sivakumar said his intention in filing the application is to obtain justice and to see that the rule of law is upheld.

Ngeh, who is also Perak DAP chairperson, said the EC has been inconsistent in its decision, given that it has accepted the vacancy in Bukit Selambau, Kedah.

"These three ‘frogs’ have caused a breakdown in the democratic system (in Perak), a violation (of) and disrepute (to) the separation of powers that we see today," he said.

Ngeh said the “absurd” decision by Ipoh High Court Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim in disallowing Sivakumar to be represented by his lawyers, had led to the action today.

"The decision by Ridwan was totally unacceptable. Former Court of Appeal judge NH Chan's commentary in Malaysiakini (has indicated that) it was wrong.”

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