SHAH ALAM: The Election Court today declared PKR candidate Noor Effandi Ahmad was rightfully elected as Telok Mas assemblyman in Melaka as he was not holding an “office of profit”.
On June 18, BN’s Abdul Razak Abdul Rahman had filed a petition on the grounds that Effandi was disqualified for election under section 32(e) of the Election Offences Act because he was holding an “office of profit”, as defined under the Eighth Schedule of the constitution.
The second allegation was Effandi had committed fraud as he is alleged to have stated that he was unemployed in his nomination papers.
Justice Mohd Ruzaima Ghazali said Effandi was employed by the Multimedia University as a lecturer at the Faculty of Business, Melaka branch, and was not a person holding an “office of profit”, when viewed from the perspective of the Federal Constitution.
“The Private Higher Educational Institution Act 1996 does not contain any provision that declares the position of lecturer at a private higher educational institution as a public servant,” he said.
As such, Ruzaima said he was allowing Effandi to strike out Razak’s petition.
The judge also ordered Razak to pay Effandi RM20,000 in costs.
Ruzaima said Article 160 of the constitution clearly defined the term “office of profit” to mean those employed in public service.
The judge also held that Efandi did not commit fraud in the nomination form as there was no clear provision in the Election Offences Act, 1954.
“Even if on nomination day, Effandi was gainfully employed as a lecturer and if he were to declare in the nomination form as ‘unemployed’, that in itself does not amount to any violation of the election law.
“This is because the position as a lecturer in Multimedia University is not an ‘office of profit’ as he is not a public servant,” he said.
On July 25, Effandi, from PPBM, had filed an application to strike out the petition on the grounds that it was misconceived in fact and law.
Ahmad Musthafi Mohamad, Tabian Tahir, Arizal Mohd Arshad, Ishak Mohd Kari and Mohd Amran Kamaruddin appeared for Effandi.
Lawyers Mohd Hafarizam Harun, Rosfinah Rahmat, Mohd Adli Ithnin and Mohd Khairul Nizam Abd Kadir represented Razak.
Razak has 14 days to file an appeal in the Federal Court against the ruling.
In the 14th general election, Effandi won the seat with a majority of 1,288 votes.
Amanah, PPBM, PKR and DAP candidates had contested under the PKR logo in the 14th general election. They took over the Melaka government, winning 15 seats while BN won 13.