Report: Voter to file injunction on Semenyih by-elections, EC’s legality questioned

Barisan Nasional and PAS flags are seen along Jalan Sg Lalang in Semenyih February 8, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Barisan Nasional and PAS flags are seen along Jalan Sg Lalang in Semenyih February 8, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 ― A voter is filing an injunction at the Shah Alam High Court on Monday to stop the Semenyih by-elections from behind held, a news report said.

Lawyer Mohd Khairul Azam Abdul Aziz told Malaysiakini that he is filing the injunction on behalf of the voter, who was not named in the report.

“The injunction will be filed on the grounds that the EC does not legally exist according to provisions of the Federal Constitution, because it only comprises a chairperson, without six other members,” he said, referring to the Election Commission (EC). 

Serious allegations of misconduct had been levelled against the EC for its role before and during the May 9 general election last year.

As a result of the allegations, prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had made representations to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong that the six remaining EC members should be investigated and be subject to a possible removal from office by a tribunal of judges if serious misconduct is found, in line with Articles 114(3) and 125(3).

Putrajaya had announced the setting up of the tribunal on October 17 last year.

Five of the EC commissioners — Tan Sri Othman Mahmood, Datuk Md Yusop Mansor, Datuk Abdul Aziz Khalidin, Datuk Sulaiman Narawi and Datuk Leo Chong Cheong — then resigned the following day.

The last remaining commissioner, Datuk K. Bala Singam, resigned on November 27.

All their resignations took effect on January 1 this year.

Current EC chairman Azhar Azizan Harun is the only member of the EC and had pointed to the Eleventh Schedule, Item 33 of the Federal Constitution, which stated that the powers of a body or commission shall not be affected by any vacancy in its membership.

Polling for the Semenyih by-election takes place on March 2 with early voting on February 26. Campaigning will begin after nominations on February 16.