PSM PRES STATEMENT - SG. SIPUT ELECTION PETITION
     

    PRESS STATEMENT : 11TH. JULY 2000

    The Election Petition filed by The Parti Sosialis Malaysia Candidate dismissed on a technicality.

    The Election Court hearing the Election Petition filed by Dr Jeyakumar, the Parti Sosialis candidate for Sg Siput (u), Perak, decided today to dismiss the Petition on the grounds that it was not properly served on the Respondent (Samy Vellu)

    According to Rule 15 of the Election Petition Rules 1954, Notice of the presentation of a petition, accompanied by a copy thereof, shall within fifteen days of presentation of the petition be served by the petitioner on the respondent. Such service may be effected either by delivering the notice and the copy aforesaid to the advocate appointed by the respondent under Rule 10, or _ _ _ _ .

    The PSM petition was filed on 8th February 2000 at the Taiping High Court, and a copy with the notice was hand delivered to the office of Shook Lin and Bok, the legal firm of Dato Dr Cyrus Das, the respondents advocate, on the 10th of February.

    Dato Wan Adnan, the Election Judge for the Sg Siput petition ruled that the service was fatally flawed as the notice and petition were handed over to Mr Nanda Balan, a senior lawyer at Shook Lin & Bok, and not to the advocate, Cyrus Das, as required by the Election Court Rules. As such the Election Judge ruled that he had no choice but to dismiss the Election Petition with costs.

    Dato Dominic Puthucheary, the advocate for the petitioner, pointed out that Cyrus Das never canvassed this line of argument previously. Dominic also explained to the Court that the arrangement of handing over a copy of the Petition to Nanda Balan was arrived after telephone discussions with Cyrus Das. However the learned judge ruled that statutory requirements could not be set-aside by private agreement between the two parties. The Election Petition Rules have to be strictly followed, and the petition had to be dismissed.

    The Parti Sosialis Malaysias attempt to bring the attention of an Election Court the practice of importing in literally thousands of outside voters in blatant disregard of Article 119 of the Federal Constitution as well Section 3(1)(a) of the Election Offences Act has thus been effectively thwarted. The legality or otherwise of Samy Vellus ploy to register several thousand non-residents as voters in Sg Siput now cannot be debated in a Court of Law.

    However Jeyakumars lawyers have every reason to hold their heads high. They won the first 2 rounds of the hearings. On 11th April 2000, they argued convincingly that the procedures such as Order 18 Rule 19 of the High Court Rules cannot be imported to an Election Court. The Judge ruled in their favour and awarded costs to the petitioner. On 15th May 2000, Jeyakumars lawyers countered Cyrus Das contention that a proper Notice was not served as per Rule 15. Dato Wan Adnan ruled that the notice was adequate. The knock-out punch on 10th July 2000 which settled the matter in the favour of the respondent, was not thrown by the respondents lawyers, and petitioners lawyers were not given any proper avenue to respond to it!

    It is a sad day for democracy in Malaysia, said Jeyakumar speaking to reporters after the adjournment of the Election Court. We brought this issue to the Election Court because we believe that the practice of registering non-resident voters undermines the democratic right of the genuine voters of Sg Siput to choose their own representatives. We have spent time preparing for this case and have a lot of evidence that we wished to present to the Court.

    We are disappointed, though not surprised with the way this has turned out said Dr Mohd Nasir, the Protem Chairman of the Parti Sosialis Malaysia. However are not giving up on this issue. We will continue to work for elections that are free and fair.

    Prepared and reproduced for the Press :

    S,Arutchelvan
    Secretary General
    Parti Sosialis Malaysia

    Tel : 019-2409612

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