Hornbill Unleashed

July 21, 2017

Election Commission wins appeal on dubious voters case

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

The Court of Appeal ruled today that the Election Commission (EC) need not provide documents containing voter information from the 1994 and 2003 electoral rolls to the Selangor government.

This is in relation to the Selangor government’s application to file for information on 136,272 registered voters in the state without addresses who had been included in a redelineation exercise proposed by the EC last year.

The Selangor government also lost its appeal to cross-examine EC chairperson Mohd Hashim Abdullah.

The three-member bench led by Justice Mohd Zawawi Mohd Salleh unanimously allowed the EC’s appeal and made no order on costs.

“We have allowed the appeal (by the EC) to set aside the High Court order, and dismissed the appeal by the Selangor government. We have also affirmed the decision by the High Court (in not allowing the cross-examination),” said Justice Mohd Zawawi.

The other judges were Justice Abdul Rahman Sebli and Justice Kamardin Hashim.

Three months ago, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur ordered the EC to furnish the locality names and locality codes of 136,272 voters for the years of 1994 and 2003 to the Selangor government following the latter’s submission of a discovery application.

The EC had conducted redelineation exercises in Peninsular Malaysia during both years.

Disposed electoral rolls

Senior federal counsel Alice Loke, who represented the EC, said the organization did not possess the addresses of the relevant voters.

She explained that when a voter registers with the EC and fills in the registration form and address, the EC would use this information to assign a locality name and locality code to the voter.

“From the locality, the EC will determine the voter’s state constituency and from the state constituency, it will determine the voter’s parliamentary representative.

Loke said asking for the details of the electoral rolls was akin to the Selangor government challenging the electoral rolls, which cannot be done under Section 9A of the Elections Act 1958, which bars any query or challenge to an electoral roll.

“If everyone is allowed to challenge the electoral roll, then the EC cannot run elections,” she said

Loke added that the EC does not have the addresses of the relevant voters as the records had been disposed of.

The forms had been discarded following the digitization of the EC’s data, she explained.

Loke also said Hashim would not be able to disclose much information if he were called to be cross-examined on the issue, as the records had been destroyed.

Senior federal counsel Amarjeet Singh revealed that government documents are destroyed after seven years.

“How can they ask for documents which are more than 20 years old,” he said.

Furthermore, Amarjeet said the electoral rolls from previous years had been combined after being gazetted, with the 1994 electoral roll being merged together with those of 1995 and 1996.

Ambiga: ‘We need affidavit evidence’

Lawyer Ambiga Sreenevasan, who is leading the Selangor government’s legal team, said this was the first time they had heard of the 1994 and 2003 electoral rolls being disposed of or destroyed.

“We need the evidence on affidavit and cannot take it from the bar. This is the first time they are saying it. The EC chief (Hashim) should come and explain and we should be allowed to cross-examine him.

“I cannot comprehend how the EC allowed the electoral roll for those two years to be destroyed. So we need an explanation,” she added.

Ambiga, who was formerly Bersih 2.0 chairperson, reminded the EC that it has a constitutional duty to conduct elections and the public must have confidence in them.

“When you claim that you merge the electoral roll (over the years), it does not mean that you destroy the original electoral roll. This is an issue which is not clear-cut and we must be allowed to cross-examine,” she said.

Ambiga gave three examples in which the EC had acknowledged placing voters in the wrong locality and constituency based on their address.

She said that this demonstrated the fallibility of the EC and demonstrated the need for the Selangor government to obtain the full addresses of the 136,272 voters.

“There could have been thousands of voters in a similar situation who had been moved,” she said.

Ambiga added that High Court judge Azizul Azmi Adnan, who had presided over the case for months and issued the order for the EC to provide the electoral rolls, should be allowed to continue hearing the case with the relevant documents from both years.


Source : Malaysiakini by  Hafiz Yatim


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3 Comments »

  1. All Malaysians, young and old, especially the majority Malays must sit and think deeply with reasons why and what is the situation for 2 prominent Malay leaders of Malaysia who had bitter relationship and had been bitter enemies for 20 years can now join hands and become allies of a party to fight the long-ever ruling party UMNO/BN that had controlled Malaysia and had made their fortunes to lasts for generations. It is not easy for an old man of 92 years who was in the ruling party that he loved and cherished, the longest ruling party in the world to oppose it now. Why? All for the sake of changing the Government to stop corruptions of the highest level.

    Comment by LBseng — July 21, 2017 @ 7:03 PM | Reply

    • Removing a kleptocrat and reform the political system and restore independence of our institutions and make them accountable to Parliament. for a greater Malaysia.

      Comment by Mat Som — July 23, 2017 @ 9:25 PM | Reply

  2. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The CJ , Court of Appeal Chief and AG are all corrupted and addicted to corruption.

    Comment by Mat Som — July 21, 2017 @ 12:21 PM | Reply


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