10,000 Selangor voters fail court challenge against EC redelineation report

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan speaks to members of the press at the Shah Alam High Court on April 20, 2018.― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

SHAH ALAM, April 20 ― The High Court today dismissed a judicial review application by over 10,000 Selangor voters to challenge the Election Commission’s (EC) redelineation report will be used in the May 9 polls.

In her judgment, Justice Datuk Azimah Omar held that the 107 applicants representing the 10,000 voters were not affected by EC’s redrawing of electoral boundaries, and as such, don’t have locus standi to mount the challenge.

“The 107 applicants are simply not in the constituencies in question,” she said.

The judge pointed out that the applicants must prove that they were adversely affected by the EC’s decision.

“There are no reasons whatsoever which warrants this court to interfere with the Parliament’s conducts or the Parliament’s privilege,” she added. Read more

Verdict on the judicial review application filed by over 10,000 Selangor voters

Source: The Malay Mail Online

SHAH ALAM, March 29 — The High Court today fixed April 11 to deliver its verdict on the judicial review application filed by over 10,000 Selangor voters led by Bersih 2.0, objecting to the recent redelineation exercise in the state.

The voters filed a lawsuit through 107 representatives, to ask the court to compel the Election Commission (EC) to hear their objections and to cancel the redelineation report that was submitted to the prime minister.

The redelineation report was however tabled in Dewan Rakyat yesterday, and approved with a simple majority.

“The arguments were heard by both parties, including the argument on whether it is academic, and the court has adjourned the matter to April 11 for a decision,” the group’s lawyer Datuk S. Ambiga said.

“I think we have been asked to advise (our clients), as to whether they (EC) can continue with the election, when there is a pending court decision.

“So we are going to look into that,” she added.

Ambiga expressed hope that the EC would respect the court, and not do anything to override its powers, since the decision has now been fixed for April 11.

The matter today was presided by Judge Datuk Azimah Omar.

The lawsuit was filed last Tuesday at the Shah Alam High Court by former Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah, who is among the 107 voters, as well as Selangor lawmakers such as Hannah Yeoh, Xavier Jayakumar, Tony Pua, Lau Weng San, Rajiv Rishyakaran, Haniza Mohamed Talha and Gan Pei Nei.

The voters are from 11 parliamentary seats and 16 state seats in Selangor.

The judicial review application names the EC, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Aman Mulia as respondents.

The 107 voters are seeking four court orders, including a declaration that the EC’s failure to hold local enquiries for the 107 objections to its redelineation exercise was “unconstitutional”, and an order to compel the EC to hold local enquiries for the 107 group of voters.

They want the court to declare that the final redelineation report submitted by the EC to the prime minister on March 9 as unconstitutional.

Additionally, they want the courts to issue a stay order to freeze the tabling, debate, discussion or voting on the EC’s redelineation report in the Dewan Rakyat until the end of this lawsuit.

The parliament seats affected are — Selayang, Hulu Langat, Puchong, Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya Selatan, Petaling Jaya Utara, Subang, Shah Alam, Kapar, Kota Raja and Sepang.

The state seats are — Kuang, Rawang, Taman Medan, Kota Damansara, Batu Tiga, Sementa, Seri Andalas, Sri Muda, Subang Jaya, Seri Setia, Bukit Gasing, Kampung Tunku, Damansara Utama, Tanjong Sepat, Dengkil and Sungai Pelek.

Bersih 2.0 said that the EC’s failure to include the 107 groups of voters in its second round of local enquiries held from February 26 to March 1 has denied over 10,000 voters their constitutional rights to be heard.

According to Bersih 2.0 acting chairman Shahrul Aman Mohd Saari, the electoral watchdog had sent two official letters dated February 28 and March 9 to the EC, but did not receive any reply.

In the two letters sighted by Malay Mail, the EC was asked to provide the status of the objections and local enquiries for Selangor voters who did not receive any notification from the EC.

Redelineation: Selangor to go to apex court despite impending GE14

Source: Free Malaysia Today

State government tells lawyers to file application to obtain leave to challenge the Election Commission in the Federal Court, but the legal battle could be scuttled if BN recaptures Selangor.

Election Commission’s redelineation report 2018. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: The Selangor government will file an appeal in the Federal Court to challenge the Election Commission’s (EC) exercise in redrawing electoral boundaries despite the possibility of the 14th general election (GE14) being held in a month or two.

Lawyer Latheefa Koya said the state had given the nod to file the legal papers to obtain leave to appeal in the Federal Court by the end of the month.

“We have been given the green light to file the leave application and will submit the legal questions in order for the apex court to grant approval to hear the merit of the case,” she told FMT. Read more

Selangor fails again in bid to challenge redelineation

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Election Commission’s redelineation report 2018. Pic from FMT News.

PUTRAJAYA: The Selangor government has again failed to challenge the Election Commission’s (EC) exercise in redrawing electoral boundaries for the 14th general election (GE14).

In a unanimous decision, a three-man bench chaired by Ahmadi Asnawi today dismissed the state’s appeal, a day after the Dewan Rakyat passed a motion to approve the EC’s recommendations.

Justice Vernon Ong Lam Kiat, who delivered the oral judgment, said the EC’s proposals could not be challenged in court by way of a judicial review.

“The proper forum is to go to the local inquiry to challenge the EC’s proposals,” he said.

He added that any act or omission by the EC was not amenable to judicial review under Order 53 of the Rules of the High Court.

Ong said the court could, however, receive and hear complaints if any objections were not heard in a local inquiry. Read more

Redelineation: 18 parliament seats in Selangor to see changes

Source: Free Malaysia Today

The EC’s redelineation proposals will affect 18 of Selangor’s 22 parliament seats. Besides the transfer of voters and polling districts, the EC has also proposed a name change for five parliament and nine state constituencies in Selangor.

Election Commission’s redelineation report 2018. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: The electoral boundary changes recommended by the Election Commission (EC) in its redelineation report for Selangor will affect 18 of its 22 parliament seats.

Of the 18 seats, only two are currently held by Barisan Nasional (BN).

The rest are represented by PKR (9), DAP (4), Amanah (2) and PAS (1).

The BN seats are Tanjong Karang and Kuala Selangor while PKR-controlled seats are Selayang, Gombak, Ampang, Pandan, Subang, Kelana Jaya, Kapar, Kuala Langat and Petaling Jaya Selatan.

DAP has Petaling Jaya Utara, Puchong, Klang and Serdang, while the sole parliament seat represented by PAS is Hulu Langat. Two other seats won by PAS in the last general election (GE13) but whose MPs have since crossed over to Amanah are Shah Alam and Kota Raja. Read more

Delineation: Courts can inquire into complaints, says lawyer

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PUTRAJAYA: The judiciary can declare the Election Commission’s (EC) exercise in redrawing the electoral boundaries as illegal if guidelines in the 13th Schedule of the Federal Constitution have not been followed, the Court of Appeal heard today.

Constitutional lawyer Cyrus Das said in Malaysia it was the constitution that was supreme and not Parliament.

He said the judiciary could not abdicate its powers to some other organs of the government under the doctrine of separation of powers.

“If a legal or constitutional objection is made, it is not for Parliament to decide based on a vote count but for the court to rule on law and facts,” Das said in his submission.

The Selangor government is appealing against a High Court ruling last year which dismissed the state’s judicial review application to challenge the EC’s exercise. Read more

Court allows EC to submit delimitation report to PM

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Today’s ruling could effectively render academic the Selangor government’s appeal to set aside a High Court’s ruling that declared the delimitation exercise in the state valid and constitutional, according to one of its lawyers. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

PUTRAJAYA, March 2 — The Election Commission (EC) today succeeded in throwing out Selangor’s bid to prevent its report on delimitation, also known as redelineation, from reaching the prime minister.

A three-man Court of Appeal panel led by Tan Sri Idrus Harun today ruled that restraining the EC would have blocked the commission from performing its constitutional duty and obstruct Parliament from receiving the report, hindering due process.

Today’s ruling could effectively render academic the Selangor government’s appeal to set aside a High Court ruling that declared the delimitation exercise in the state valid and constitutional, according to one of its lawyers.

The appeal will be heard on March 23. Read more

Selangor BN protests against EC’s second redelineation proposal

Source: The Malay Mail Online

SHAH ALAM, Feb 26 — The Selangor Barisan Nasional (BN) today lodged protests against the redelineation’s second proposal of the constituencies involving seven parliamentary constituencies to the Election Commission (EC).

The parliamentary constituencies were Tanjong Karang, Kuala Selangor, Subang, Kuala Langat, Gombak, Ampang and Serdang.

Selangor BN chairman Tan Sri Noh Omar said among the protests was related to the transfer of the Sawah Sempadan District Voting Centre (PDM) under the Sungai Burong State seat to the Permatang state seat which were both within the Tanjong Karang Parliamentary constituency.

The excuse for the EC’s second recommendation was that the transfer of the PDM was to balance the number of voters in the two state constituencies was debatable, Noh, who is also the Tanjong Karang MP, told reporters after a protest hearing session to the EC here today. Read more

Courts fail voters in EC redelineation challenges, says Sri Ram

Source: FMT News

Retired Federal Court judge and lawyer Gopal Sri Ram in an October 30, 2014 picture by Najjua Zulkefli

PETALING JAYA: The year saw superior courts – the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court – delivering numerous judgments that touched on the basic constitutional rights of citizens.

The most significant were legal challenges mounted by voters and the PKR-led state government in Selangor against the Election Commission (EC) for its alleged failure to follow procedures and demarcate election boundaries as required under the Federal Constitution. Read more

Ex-judge says court failed to use its additional powers in EC case

Source: FMT News

Paragraph 1 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 gives judges the additional power to remedy a wrong, especially on fundamental rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution, says Sri Ram. Pic taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: The courts have additional powers to check on illegality and correct any injustice with regard to complaints against the Election Commission (EC) in carrying out the redelineation exercise, a retired judge said.

Gopal Sri Ram said judges could then issue the appropriate order to compel the EC to act in accordance with the law.

“The law is that if the EC acts contrary to the Federal Constitution in the exercise of its powers, then the court can examine the legality of the conduct.

“If there is either illegality in the way in which the power is exercised or any injustice has resulted because of the exercise of its powers, the court can issue the appropriate order to compel the EC to act in accordance with the law,” he told FMT. Read more