Friday, August 2, 2013

BN keeps Baram parliamentary seat

by Philip Kiew, Posted on August 2, 2013, Friday
RELIEVED: Anyi (left), with Ling (right), showing a copy of the formal application by Roland to withdraw the election petition.

MIRI: The Election Court here yesterday struck out a petition filed by Roland Engan of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) against the election result for Baram parliamentary constituency in the May 5 general election.

The court in dismissing the petition affirmed Anyi Ngau of Barisan Nasional (BN) as the duly elected Baram MP and awarded costs of RM15,000 to him as fi rst respondent and RM10,0 0 0 to returning offi cer Joseph Belayong Punan as second respondent.

Kota Kinabalu High Court judge Chew Soo Ho, sitting as the Election Court judge, allowed the appl ication for leave by the petitioner’s counsel, Baru Bian, to withdraw the petition at the onset of preliminary objections hearing before a packed court yesterday.

The judge said the cost awarded to the respondents was not a punitive action taken against the petitioner but took into account the painstaking preparation undertaken by the respondents in challenging the petition. Roland, a lawyer by profession, filed the petition on June 12 this year to declare null and void the result of the election.

Among the grounds cited were breaches and irregularities including doubtful, dubious and questionable results of postal votes and votes of advance voters, disenfranchised voters at several polling stations in Kampung Long Item, Long Lilim and Long Miri in the Baram constituency and counting of advance and postal votes.

Other grounds included failure to adhere to the election regulations during and after counting of votes as well as corrupt or illegal practice of an agent of the BN candidate.

Baru Bian, who is also PKR Sarawak chief and Ba Kelalan assemblyman, said the decision to withdraw the petition was on technical grounds.

The application cited that requirements of Election Petition Rules 1964 were not fully complied with, and the petitioner had no wish to proceed with the petition.

Met outside the court, a happy Anyi pledged to work extra hard for his constituency while Roland admitted he was disappointed but would abide by the decision.

Sarawak now has only one more election petition to be heard – the one filed by defeated BN-SUPP candidate for Sarikei parliamentary constituency, Ding Kuong Hing, at the Sibu High Court to nullify the result of the polls at the Sibu High Court. Ding lost the seat to DAP’s Wong Ling Biu by a 505-vote majority. He obtained 13,758 votes against Wong’s 14,263 votes.

In his petition, Ding named returning officer David Liau, the Election Commission and Wong as the first, second and third respondents respectively.

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