KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court, sitting as an election court here, dismissed an election petition filed by DAP’s Liew Chin Tong against MCA’s Wee Ka Siong to challenge the results of the Ayer Hitam parliamentary seat.
Justice Nazlan Ghazali ruled that Liew’s petition did not comply with election laws.
“The petitioner (Liew) failed to plead how the action of removing election billboards during campaigning period could have influenced the results,” he said.
During the 11-day campaign for the general election, it was reported that Election Commission (EC) officers took down DAP’s posters that featured Najib Razak’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, and Pakatan Harapan chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Nazlan said Liew’s failure to provide particulars on the effect of the removal of billboards under the election laws rendered his petition defective.
The court also said an election court has strict jurisdiction on its own to decide on election cases brought before it.
The dismissal of the petition means Wee remains Ayer Hitam MP.
Nazlan also ordered Liew to pay a total of RM30,000 as costs to Wee and two others.
After the court’s decision, Liew, who was present, took the initiative to shake hands with Wee in the courtroom.
In the May 9 polls, Wee defeated Liew with a slim majority of 303 votes in the three-cornered contest.
Liew obtained 16,773 votes compared with Wee, who received 17,076 votes.
PAS’ candidate Mardi Marwan received 4,975 votes.
Liew, who is now a senator and deputy defence minister, filed an election petition in June, seeking to nullify the election results and subsequently for an order to be issued for a by-election.
He claimed he was prevented from using posters of Mahathir and Rosmah and this interfered with his electoral rights.
Liew also named the Election Commission (EC) and its returning officer Mohd Hafiz Aliman as respondents in the petition.
Wee, the EC and Hafiz objected to Liew’s election lawsuit on the grounds that Liew’s petition was not proper.