Tribunal to meet Monday on alleged misconduct of ex-EC members

Former High Court judge Steve Shim will chair the tribunal to probe the alleged misconduct of ex-EC members. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: A tribunal to investigate allegations of misconduct by former members of the Election Commission in preparing and conducting the 14th general election will begin sitting on Jan 28.

Attorney-General Tommy Thomas said the tribunal comprising six retired Federal Court judges would convene in the Klang courthouse at 10am on Monday “to deliberate on matters pursuant to their mandate by the Yang di- Pertuan Agong”.

The king has appointed Steve Shim (chairman), Zaleha Zahari, Suriyadi Halim Omar, Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha and Dr Prasad Sandosham Abraham to the tribunal.

Thomas said in a statement today the tribunal would look at the conduct of the former members of the EC: Othman Mahmood, Md Yusop Mansor, Abdul Aziz Khalidin, Sulaiman Narawi, Bala Singam Karupiah and Leo Chong Cheong.

However, there was no mention of former EC chairman Hashim Abdullah.

Thomas said serious allegations of misconduct had been levelled against the EC “for its role in the preparation and conduct of the 14th general election, prior to and on polling day, May 9, 2018”.

“In consequence, the prime minister represented to His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong that the six remaining members of the Election Commission ought to be investigated, and if serious misconduct is found, be subject to a possible removal from office pursuant to Articles 114(3) and 125(3) of the Federal Constitution, that is, by a tribunal of judges.

“On Oct 17, 2018, it was reported that the government had begun the process of setting up the tribunal. A day later, five members of the Election Commission announced their resignation from office.”

He said the remaining member eventually tendered his resignation on Nov 27 and that all these resignations were to take effect on Jan 1 this year.

“Although the six Election Commission members have resigned from office, the tribunal has a free hand to decide on all matters pertaining hereto as they deem fit, when making their recommendations to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong,” Thomas said.

He also said M Puravalen of the Malaysian Bar, and Kogilambigai Muthusamy and Ann Khong Hui Li from the Attorney-General’s Chambers would assist the tribunal. Ann Khong will also serve as its secretary.