PETALING JAYA: The Kota Kinabalu High Court has dismissed a bid by four Sabah assemblymen to compel the Election Commission (EC) and the national registration department (JPN) to conduct a forensic audit of Sabah’s 2022 electoral roll.
The four applicants Yong Teck Lee (appointed assemblyman), Abidin Madingkir (Paginatan), Jasnih Daya (Pantai Dalit) and Anwar Ayuub @ Annuar Ayub (Liawan) wanted the two respondents to determine the veracity of the citizenship of newly registered voters.
But Justice Christopher Chin in his ruling said there were no clear exhibits indicating a blatant breach of the law submitted by the claimants.
“This application would probably be reviewed differently had there been a random sampling of names from the electoral roll and searches showing dubious status of origin,” he said.
Chin said the leave application was disallowed on the basis that the threshold of exceptional circumstances had not been cleared.
However, he said it was not a frivolous application.
“If one lives and grows up in Sabah, it is blatantly obvious that persons from neighbouring countries that do not share the same level of education and civil behaviour are known to become Malaysian citizens of Sabah origin.”
The four assemblymen who filed the action last month had also sought a mandamus order to adopt Sabah’s 2020 electoral roll pending the outcome of the forensic audit.
Senior federal counsel Ahmad Hanir Hambly, who represented the attorney-general in opposing the leave application, said the application was not supported by evidence.
He said the applicants had not exhausted the alternative remedy under Regulation 15 (Registration of Election) Regulations 2002.
Lawyer Yong Yit Jee represented the applicants.