Jan 3 hearing for Anifah’s bid to review Kimanis by-election order

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court here will hear on Jan 3 next year the bid by former foreign minister Anifah Aman to review the decision revoking his victory in Kimanis and ordering a by-election for the parliamentary seat.

The panel, led by Federal Court judge Mohd Zawawi Salleh, set the date on Friday after dismissing Anifah’s application to halt the by-election scheduled for Jan 4.

He also told all parties to file their written submissions.

Other judges on the panel were Vernon Ong, Abdul Rahman Sebli, Zaleha Yusof and Zabariah Mohd Yusof.

Anifah’s lawyer, Tengku Fuad Tengku Ahmad, said they would file their submissions as soon as possible.

The court earlier dismissed Anifah’s bid to halt the by-election, saying there are no special circumstances warranting such an order.

Tengku Fuad, who had made that argument, said they were not seeking to stop the Election Commission (EC) from exercising its authority under the Federal Constitution to hold elections.

“We are merely seeking to stay the Federal Court’s order calling for a by-election,” he said, referring to the decision earlier this month upholding an election court ruling ordering a by-election for Kimanis.

That Federal Court bench had said there were “numerous discrepancies in conduct and widespread non-compliance with election laws”.

But Zawawi said the court must exercise its powers judiciously in granting any application of stay.

The panel also ordered Anifah to pay RM90,000 in costs to Warisan’s Karim Bujang, the EC and its returning officer.

Lawyer Frederick Chang, representing Warisan, objected to the application as well, saying the Federal Court had no power to grant a stay order after the disposal of Anifah’s appeal.

“He is no longer an MP after Dec 10. The court, after hearing the appeal from the election court, became functus officio,” he added, using the term to indicate that the court’s duty had ceased after it heard Anifah’s final appeal.

He also said the Federal Court had issued a seal order on its decision to declare the Kimanis seat vacant and for a by-election to be held.

Anifah had been MP for Kimanis since 2004. He retained his seat on May 9 last year with a slim majority of 156 votes.

He became an independent after quitting Umno in September 2018.

The Kimanis by-election is the 10th after Pakatan Harapan’s victory in the 14th general election.