Streram files suit for abuse of office against EC and returning officer

Dr Streram Sinnasamy is claiming damages amounting to RM7.6 million.

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR candidate Dr Streram Sinnasamy, who was denied entry into the nomination centre to file his papers, has filed a suit for misfeasance in public office against the returning officer and the Election Commission (EC).

Streram, who is claiming damages amounting to RM7.6 million, said the officer, Amino Agos Suyub, and the EC failed to carry out their duties in accordance with the Election Act 1958.

Streram, 62, had arrived at the Dewan Sri Rembau on April 28 to file his nomination papers to contest the Rantau state seat in Negri Sembilan. However, he did not have an EC pass and was not allowed entry.

As a result, he said, although qualified, he was denied the constitutional right to contest in the election.

“The voters in Rantau were also not given the choice to cast their ballots,” he said in the statement of claim filed by Messrs Haniff Khatri today.

BN candidate Mohamad Hasan, who is the Negeri Sembilan menteri besar, was returned unopposed due to the incident.

The EC on May 3 gazetted the victory of Mohamad, meaning Streram had to file an election petition to challenge his disqualification.

Streram said he received his authorisation letter from PKR president, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, to use the party logo on April 24 and the following day paid RM8,000 in election deposit at the Seremban EC office.

He said he was never informed by the EC or their agents that name tags or an entry pass were required to gain access to the centre.

He said about 4.30pm on April 27, a friend told him to get the passes at the Rembau district office and he arrived there at 6.45pm but the office was closed.

However, an unidentified woman staff told him that he could collect the tags at Dewan Sri Rembau the following day.

Streram said he and his proposer and seconder arrived at the centre at 8am to collect the tags in order to file his papers at 9am.

He said he asked a policeman to call an EC officer from the centre to provide the tags but none came out.

He said the proposer for the opposition candidate contesting the Rembau parliament seat and later the candidate for the Paroi seat came out of the centre to help him get in but were unsuccessful.

About 9.40am, two EC officers came out to meet Streram and assured him they were making arrangements to provide the passes.

They went back to the centre but did not return.

Agos later declared Mohamad as the winner since there was no other contestant for the seat.

Streram lodged two police reports and on April 30 wrote to the EC to rectify the mistake and allow him to contest.

However, in a letter dated May 4, the EC said Mohamad’s victory had already been gazetted.

Streram said there was no legal requirement to have passes to enter the centre and the EC did not inform him about it when he collected the nomination form and later when he paid the deposit.

He said the EC also did not order the police to allow him, his proposer and seconder into the centre.

Streram said the EC was also vicariously liable for the conduct or omission of Agos whom they had appointed.

EC gazettes Mohamad Hasan’s election victory