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High Court strikes out DAP CEC elections lawsuit

 | July 9, 2015

Party matters should be settled among members themselves, judge holds

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KUALA LUMPUR – The High Court today allowed an application by DAP secretary- general Lim Guan Eng to strike out a lawsuit seeking to declare the political party’s September 2013 central executive committee (CEC) elections null and void.

Judge Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera ruled that the action brought by plaintiffs Tay Kok Beng, Tan Kim Seng, Law Theng Hooi and Wong Yu Liuh, was ‘unsustainable in law’.

“I agree with the defence counsel’s submission that a decision under Section 18(c) of the Societies Act cannot be challenged in court,” Vazeer Alam said. “Party matters should be settled among members themselves.”

The Judge also ruled that the Registrar of Societies (RoS) has the power to settle party disputes under Section 16 of the Act to the exclusion of the court.

“A dispute between a party member and his party does not fall with the purview of the court, but with the RoS and the party’s electorate.”

It is an abuse of process for the plaintiffs to seek the court’s intervention, Vazeer added.

He ordered the four members to pay RM10,000 in costs to the defendants.

Gobind Singh Deo appeared for the 19 DAP CEC members while Hasnal Rezua Merican appeared for the four members.

The four DAP members had filed the suit on February 23, and named the entire CEC comprising Lim, Tan Kok Wai, M. Kulasegaran, Chow Kon Yeow, Chong Chien Jien, Teresa Kok, Chong Eng, Ngeh Koo Ham, Fong Kui Lum, Nga Kor Ming, Anthony Loke, Tony Pua, Teo Nie Ching, Zairil Khir Johari, Liew Chin Tong, Boo Cheng Hau, Lim Kit Siang, Teng Chang Khim, and Gobind as defendants.

The plaintiffs’ statement of claim had alleged that the elections held on September 29, 2013 had violated the party’s constitution.

It also claimed that there had been ambiguity and confusion over the inclusion of 120 additional party branches between December 15, 2012 and September 23, 2013 as these branches had not been approved by the RoS.

The plaintiffs sought a declaration that the elections had not been held in accordance with the law and asked for an order that fresh elections be called.


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