Court to hear Tasek Gelugor election petition next month

Haniff Khatri Abdulla (left) and Azlina Mehtab Mohd Ishaq (right) speak to reporters at the Penang High Court in George Town January 14, 2019. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Jan 14 — The Election Court has fixed a nine-day trial to hear the Tasek Gelugor election petition filed by Senator Datuk Marzuki Yahya from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) here.

Lead counsel for Marzuki, Haniff Khatri Abdulla, said Justice Datuk Hashim Hamzah fixed February 15 for mention of the case for the petitioner and respondents to file the relevant documents pertaining to the case.

“He then fixed nine days for hearing of the case from February 25 to March 1 and March 12 to 15,” he told reporters outside the courtroom after case management was heard in chambers today.

“Marzuki will be present to give evidence during the hearing and we expect to call more than five witnesses on our side,” he added.

He said the Election Commission (EC) and incumbent Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Shabudin Yahaya, who were named as the respondents, will also be calling witnesses during the hearing.

Counsel for Shabudin, Simon Tan, said they will only be calling three to four witnesses for the hearing.

He said the EC may be calling more witnesses to verify the copies of Form 14 which will be presented in court.

“The EC will bring in witnesses to verify any amendments made on Form 14,” he said.

Form 14 contained the tabulation of votes for each polling station of the three state constituencies under the Tasek Gelugor parliamentary constituency, namely Permatang Berangan, Sungai Dua and Telok Ayer Tawar.

The Form 14s were unsealed at the Election Court and handed over to the court on January 2.

The lawyers for the petitioner and respondents also made copies of the documents to scrutinise the contents in preparation for hearing of the case.

Marzuki had filed an election petition against the Tasek Gelugor election result, but it was thrown out by the Election Court in September last year.

Marzuki, who was also represented by Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali and Azlina Mehtab Mohd Ishaq, filed an appeal to the Federal Court that overturned the earlier decision and ruled that the case must be heard in a full trial by the Election Court.

Last month, Hashim gave a consent order for all Forms 14 under the Tasek Gelugor parliamentary seat to be opened for scrutiny before a High Court Senior Assistant Registrar.

Shabudin, who contested under Barisan Nasional (BN), won the seat with an 81-seat majority.

He has since resigned from BN.

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