MELAKA (Feb 7): The High Court on Tuesday (Feb 7) dismissed a preliminary objection in the election petition filed by Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Abdul Hakim Abdul Wahid, to nullify the result of the Masjid Tanah parliamentary seat, which was won by Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin in the 15th general election (GE15).
Judge Datuk Anselm Charles Fernandis delivered the decision, after finding that two of the four grounds of initial objection submitted had the merit to be dismissed, according to Section 36(1) of the Election Offences Act 1954.
He said this was because the two basic points of the objection were filed out of time as prescribed under the law and the content of the petition, related to the appointment of an election agent by the candidate who contested, was not clear.
“The court declares Mas Ermieyati’s election as Masjid Tanah Member of Parliament in GE15 is valid, and orders the petitioner to pay costs of RM20,000,” he said.
Lawyer Rosfinah Rahmat, who represents Abdul Hakim, said they will file an appeal to the Federal Court within 14 days.
On Jan 3, Abdul Hakim filed the petition, alleging that bribery, in the form of money and banquets, was used to woo voters in GE15.
In the initial objection application for the petition to be rejected by the court, Mas Ermieyati, as a respondent, among others, claimed that the petition was filed out of time as prescribed under Section 38 of the Election Offences Act 1954.
In addition, Abdul Hakim, as the petitioner, is alleged to have also erred because he did not name the returning officer and the Election Commission officer in the petition.
Mas Ermieyati (Perikatan Nasional-Bersatu) won the seat, with a majority of 4,411 votes, in a four-cornered clash against Abdul Hakim, Mutalib Uthman (Muda) and Handrawirawan Abu Bakar (Gerakan Tanah Air-Pejuang).
Masjid Tanah election petition: Decision on preliminary objection postponed to Feb 7