PPBM fails in bid to nullify Johor state seat results

R Vidyanathan (middle) with his supporters after the election court affirms him as assemblyman for Kahang.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court, sitting as an election court, today threw out the petition filed by a PPBM candidate against another from MIC to challenge the results of the Kahang state seat in Johor.

Justice Nazlan Ghazali ruled that PPBM’s Norlihan Ariffin had failed to specify how the “missing” Borang 14 or Form 14 in a polling station had affected the election results.

Borang 14 is the form that tabulates results at every polling station.

“In the petition, the candidate contended that the presiding officer in that particular polling station produced a new set of forms and that the results were different from the earlier form which had gone missing.

“She failed to plead in her petition how the number of votes in the new and old forms could affect the final results for Kahang,” he said in allowing the bid by MIC assemblyman R Vidyanathan and the Election Commission (EC) to strike out PPBM’s petition.

In the May 9 general election, Vidyanathan won with a majority of 2,861 votes.

Nazlan said Norlihan had also failed to specify the number of votes stated in the new and old forms despite claiming she had received different figures.

“She pleaded that there was non-compliance under the election laws and rules but did not link this to how the alleged transgressions affected the outcome,” he added.

The court also ordered Norlihan to pay costs of RM30,000 to Vidyanathan, the EC and its returning officer Nasir Md Ali.

Speaking to reporters after the court’s decision, Vidyanathan said it proved Kahang voters had given him the mandate in the election.

“I was surprised that my opponent filed this petition and brought up technical issues.

“However, the court proved that the voters’ choice was valid and that they chose Barisan Nasional because of what we have done for them,” he said, adding that he would do his best to serve the people of Kahang.

PPBM’s lawyer Sharir Abdul Razak meanwhile said he would seek instructions from Norlihan on whether to appeal against the decision.

In her petition filed on June 13, Norlihan sought to nullify the results for the Kahang state seat. She also sought a court order for a by-election, claiming that Nasir and the EC had breached the Elections (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1981.