Anifah Aman fails to stay court ruling on Kimanis parliamentary seat

Anifah was also ordered to pay costs of RM30,000 to each of the three respondents. — Reuters pic
Anifah was also ordered to pay costs of RM30,000 to each of the three respondents. — Reuters pic

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PUTRAJAYA, Dec 30 — Former foreign minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman today failed to stay a Federal Court ruling in nullifying his victory in the Kimanis parliamentary seat in the last general election,  pending the hearing of his review application.

A Federal Court five-member bench led by Datuk Mohd Zawawi Salleh unanimously dismissed Anifah’s application after finding there was no special circumstances for the court to grant the stay.

“We have considered the arguments raised by parties. We are of the view that there were no special circumstances for us to exercise our discretion to grant the stay. Therefore, we dismissed the application (stay) with costs,” said Justice Mohd Zawawi.

He also ordered Anifah to pay costs of RM30,000 to each of the three respondents, namely Parti Warisan Sabah candidate Datuk Karim Bujang, the returning officer for the Kimanis parliamentary seat and the Election Commission (EC).

Justice Mohd Zawawi, who presided over the stay hearing with Federal Court Judges Datuk Vernon Ong Lam Kiat, Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli, Datuk Zaleha Yusof and Datuk Zabariah Mohd Yusof, set January 3 to hear the review application.

He also told all parties to file their written submissions.

Anifah is seeking to review the ruling made by a different panel of the Federal Court on December 2 which dismissed his appeal to set aside the Election Court ruling, resulting for a by-election to be called in the constituency.

The Kimanis parliamentary by-election is scheduled on January 18, with nomination on January 4.

Earlier, lawyer Tengku Fuad Tengku Ahmad, representing Anifah, submitted that his client sought to stay the Federal Court’s order pending the hearing of his review application.

“We are not seeking the Election Commission to stop from exercising its duty to hold the by-election under Federal Constitution,” he said.

Lawyer Frederick Chang Tyn Chi, acting for Karim, argued that the Federal Court had no discretion to grant the stay as the appeal over the election petition had been disposed of by the previous panel of the Federal Court.

“If the stay is granted, it would be restraining the EC from conducting its duty for the by-election,” he added.

Furthermore, he said, Anifah was no longer an MP as the seat had been declared vacant following the Federal Court’s decision on December 10.

The Election Court had, on August 16 this year, declared null and void Anifah’s win in the Kimanis seat in Sabah in the 14th general election (GE14).

Anifah, had won the seat with a 156-vote majority, securing 11,942 votes against Karim’s 11,786 votes while another candidate, Jaafar Ismail of Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah, had obtained 1,300 votes.

Karim had filed the election petition on June 18 last year to challenge the election result.

On February 18, this year, the Federal Court remitted Karim’s election petition back to the Election Court for trial after allowing his appeal to set aside the Election Court’s earlier decision to strike out his (Karim’s) petition.

On November 19, 2018, the Election Court judge Supang Lian had struck out Karim’s election petition.

The matter was then remitted back for trial before another Election Court Judge Lee Heng Chung who subsequently nullified the results for that constituency, ruling that the presence of additional ballot papers had influenced the results of the polls. — Bernama

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