Order for Camerons MP to leave Dewan Rakyat against constitution, says BN

Cameron Highlands MP C Sivarraajh was asked to leave the Dewan Rakyat today following the Election Court’s decision that his victory in the general election is invalid. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The order by the Dewan Rakyat speaker for Cameron Highlands MP C Sivarraajh to leave the lower house goes against Article 50 of the Federal Constitution, Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today.

Zahid said he viewed the decision taken by Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof seriously as the Election Court’s decision that the results in the general election was invalid is still under appeal and Sivarraajh is still the rightful MP.

“There is no reason for Sivarraajh to be ejected from the lower house just because of pressure from Jelutong MP RSN Rayer without looking into parliamentary provisions,” Zahid said in a statement today.

Zahid was responding to Ariff’s decision to ask the MIC vice-president to leave the Dewan Rakyat.

Ariff made the decision after Rayer asked if Sivarraajh had a stay order on the Election Court’s decision.

“Do you have a stay order or not?” Ariff also asked Sivarraajh, who replied that he would need to check on that.

“I haven’t checked if I can come to the Dewan or not. But I have 14 days to appeal,” he said.

Zahid said when the Election Court declared Sivarraajh’s election win invalid, leading to the possibility of a by-election being held, he could appeal to the Federal Court.

The Umno president said the person could then file a notice of appeal within 14 days from the date of the decision, as provided for under Section 36A(2) of the Election Offences Act 1954.

He also referred to Section 36C of the act, which states that the decision of the election judge is only final when no appeal is filed 14 days after the decision.

“Therefore, the decision to declare his win as null and void is unrelated to his attendance in the Dewan Rakyat because he can still appeal within 14 days.

“The Cameron Highlands seat cannot be vacated under Article 50 of the Federal Constitution until the election judge receives the decision of the appeal at the Federal Court.

“The speaker must allow Sivarraajh to attend Dewan Rakyat proceedings, as provided for under election laws,” he added.

The Election Court last Friday allowed the petition brought by M Manoharan of DAP and declared BN’s win as invalid after finding corrupt practices were committed to induce voters to cast their ballots for Sivarraajh.

Sivarraajh had won the seat with 10,307 votes while Manogaran polled 9,710. The other candidates were PAS’ Wan Mahadir Wan Mahmud (3,587), PSM’s B Suresh Kumar (680) and Berjasa candidate Mohd Tahir Kassim (81).

Sivarraajh has until Dec 14 to file the appeal, failing which the Election Court will issue a certificate to conduct a by-election within 30 days.