Court throws out DAP MPs’ bid to challenge new EC map

Su-Keong-Siong

PETALING JAYA: A High Court in Ipoh today dismissed a judicial review application by two opposition MPs who complained that the Election Commission’s (EC) current redelineation of their constituencies is against Federal Constitution guidelines.

Justice Che Ruzima Ghazali said the application by Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegran and Ipoh Timur MP Thomas Su Keong Siong was frivolous and that there was no arguable case.

Che Ruzima held that all six issues raised can be ventilated in the second local enquiry of the EC, which has yet to be held.

The judge held he was bound by the Court of Appeal judgments in the case of See Chee How and Nurul Izzah Anwar.

On March 31, both MPs filed the judicial review application seeking to quash the EC’s second proposed recommendations for its electoral redelineation exercise.

Both said they had raised objections to the first proposed recommendation by the EC on Sept 15 last year and a local enquiry was held.

However, they received no answer to their complaints.

They said, on March 8 the second notice of the proposed recommendations were advertised in daily newspapers.

The MPs claimed the suggested delineation exercise went against the one-man, one-vote principle, a violation of the equality provision under Article 8(2) of the constitution.

They claimed the proposed recommendations would disrupt the maintenance of local ties.

In a statement, Kulasegaran said he was surprised by Che Ruzima’s verdict as earlier this week a High Court judge in Melaka allowed a similar judicial review against the EC.

“We had provided the judgment of the Melaka High Court as it had persuasive value. To our utter shock and disappointment, Che Ruzima dismissed our application on the basis it is frivolous,” he said.

Kulasegaran said the court should be the guardian of the constitution and anything less was unacceptable.

“It should be bold, like in the case in Melaka, to haul up the EC and instruct them to act at the behest of the voters of our country,” he added.

He said the EC’s failure to adhere to the one-man, one-vote principle should have jolted the court to its core.

“A great judicious act was missed today,” he added.

Kulasegaran said an appeal would likely be lodged in the Court of Appeal.

“Discussion among lawyers and other stakeholders will be held soon to decide on this matter,” he said.