Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Bid to challenge S’wak seat redelineation to be heard Oct 13

Hafiz Yatim 



The Federal Court has fixed next Tuesday to hear the leave application by Batu Lintang assemblyperson See Chee How to challenge the Election Commission’s re-delineation of state constituencies in Sarawak.
The apex court also fixed Oct 13 to also listen to See's stay application of the Court of Appeal's decision of Aug 7, which ruled the Sarawak consttituency redelineation exercise as valid.
The Court of Appeal decision overturned an earlier decision by the Kuching High Court that ruled the redelineation to be illegal and null and void.
This has resulted in the EC wanting to present it's report on the redelineation to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak before the Parliament session opens on Oct 19.
Lead counsel for See (photo), Cyrus Das, told the three-member bench headed by Court of Appeal President‎ Md Raus Sharif that they are prepared to proceed on the stay application, but if the apex court agrees to hear the leave application next week, they can defer today's hearing.
Justice Mohd Raus asked senior federal counsel Amarjeet Singh and Suzana Atan whether it was all right for them, to which they replied to the positive.
Hence, the bench allowed that the leave application be heard together with the stay application next Tuesday.
The other members of the bench were Federal Court judges Abdull Hamid Embong and Abu Samah Nordin.
Elections next year
On Aug 7, the Court of Appeal ruled the redelineation exercise by the EC as legal, overturning an earlier decision by the Kuching High Court that ruled the redelineation illegal,null and void.
This resulted in the EC gazetting the redelineation exercise on Aug 21 as confirmed by commission chairperson, Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof who said the report was to be presented to Najib for it to be tabled in Parliament for approval.
The redelineation exercise will see an additional 11 seats for the Sarawak legislative assembly before the state election is called. Presently, the state has 71 seats for the assembly. 

The Sarawak elections are to be called by the middle of next year.
See along with Pauls Baya filed the judicial review application earlier this year to seek the nullification of the redelineation exercise as it lacked detailed particulars of the areas specified in paragraph two of the 13th Schedule of the Federal Constitution.
Besides Cyrus and See, former Bersih 2.0 chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan (photo) represented See and Pauls while senior federal counsel Suzana Atan and Azizan Mohd Arshad appeared for the EC.
Sarawak state advisor JC Foong appeared for the state government.
See said the stay is sought before the EC report is to be tabled by the PM in parliament.
“We were only late by about two days in filing for the stay,” he told Malaysiakini.
Read more: https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/314676#ixzz3nlZOYfh9

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