PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court today ordered a trial for election petitions challenging the results of Sabah’s Kimanis and Sipitang parliamentary seats where Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates had emerged victorious during the 14th general election.
However, the apex court affirmed the decision of the Election Court which last year dismissed the petition against the Pensiangan parliamentary seat results. That seat was also won by BN.
A five-member bench led by Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak David Wong Dak Wah said the merit of the Kimanis election should be heard as Parti Warisan candidate Karim Bujang had complied with the Election Petition Rules 1954.
“We set aside the decision of the Election Court and order a trial,” Wong said of the unanimous ruling.
Wong, who allowed Karim’s application that the trial be heard before a new judge, also ordered case management be held at the Kota Kinabalu High Court on Wednesday.
Anifah Aman won the Kimanis seat by a slender margin of 156 votes, obtaining 11,942 votes against Karim’s 11,786 votes.
Another five-member bench chaired by Ahmad Maarop also allowed a trial for the Sipitang seat filed by Warisan candidate Noor Hayaty Mustapha.
In the May 9 election, Yamani Hafez Musa, the son of former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman, won the seat with an 852-vote majority after defeating Noor Hayaty and Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah candidate Dayang Aezzy Liman.
The bench also allowed Noor Hayaty’s application that the trial be heard before a new judge and fixed case management on Feb 25.
Arthur Joseph Kurup, the son of Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) president Joseph Kurup, was lucky, though, as the bench led by Maarop dismissed the appeal of PKR Pensiangan candidate Raymond Ahuar.
The election court last year rejected Ahuar’s application for amendment of his election petition to include an allegation of illegal practice of election expenses.
Arthur, who took over the seat from his father, won by a majority of 2,314 votes in a five-cornered contest. He garnered 11,783 votes to Raymond’s 9,469.
Earlier in the day, a Federal Court bench chaired by Chief Justice Richard Malanjum also ordered a trial for the Jasin parliamentary seat after allowing an appeal by Amanah candidate Khairuddin Abu Hassan.