November 28, 2023

New Malaysia Times

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First attempt to stop PD vote unsuccessful

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 –  The suit by a Port Dickson voter to invalidate Danyal Balagopal Abdullah’s resignation as the MP of Port Dickson and the Election Commission’s decision to call for a by-election has been dismissed.

The ruling by the Kuala Lumpur High Court means that the judicial review to even hear the merits of the case will not take place.

The lawyers representing Danyal and the EC, Ranjit Singh and senior federal counsel Amarjeet Singh, told Malaysiakini that the judge decided that based on Article 51 of the Federal Constitution, Danyal can resign as long as he signs a letter and hands it to the speaker.

Article 51 states that “a member of either House of Parliament may resign his membership by writing under his hand addressed, if he is a member of the Senate, to the President of the Senate, and if a member of the House of Representatives, to the Speaker of that House”.

In his letter to the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, Danyal stated that he had resigned voluntarily.

“The application was therefore dismissed but with no order as to costs,” Amarjeet said, adding that the decision was made in chambers.

Meanwhile, according to the news portal, the applicant Rosmadi Mohd Kassim’s lawyer said he was waiting for instructions from his client on whether to appeal.

M Reza Hassan said they might wait for the outcome of an application by another Port Dickson voter who wanted to challenge the legality of the royal pardon given to Anwar and his eligibility to contest in the by-election, which has been fixed for hearing on Friday.

PD voter: Danyal, EC actions are wrong by law

Rosmadi, 56, sought to declare declare both Danyal’s resignation and the EC’s decision to announce the seat vacancy as null and wrong by law, besides also wanting an injunction to stop the EC from holding the by-election on Oct 13.

He had even lodged a police report on September 24 on the same, saying that Danyal had violated the oath he had taken as an MP, when he announced on Sept 12 that he was resigning to facilitate the return of PKR President Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to the Dewan Rakyat.

“This showed that Danyal had pledged his loyalty to Anwar rather than Malaysians, and that he had betrayed the trust of Port Dickson voters, as the former army man was neither a bankrupt nor physically unable to carry out his duties as an MP,” Rosmadi was reported to have said, according to Mkini.

Danyal won the seat in the 14th general election on May 9 with a 17,710 majority over his closest rival, Barisan Nasional’s V Mohan, who is from MIC.

Can Anwar’s royal pardon be questioned?

In the other application filed by a voter in Port Dickson last week, the applicant seeks a declaration that the royal pardon Anwar received last May was null and void and therefore disqualifies him from contesting in the upcoming by-election.

Noraziah Mohd Shariff’s legal argument for the application is that the pardon that was granted to Anwar cannot be valid as the Pardons Board was not formed in accordance with Article 42(5) of the Federal Constitution in that neither the then Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohd Apandi Ali nor the Federal Territories Minister were present.

The Agong has the power to grant pardon under Article 42(1) of the Federal Constitution, as Anwar was tried in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.

However, in citing Article 42(5) the voter points out that the Constitution states that “the pardons board constituted for each State shall consist of the AG of the Federation, the Chief Minister of the State and not more than three other members, who shall be appointed by the Ruler or Yang Di-Pertua Negeri; but the AG may from time to time by instrument in writing delegate his functions as a member of the board to any other person, and the Ruler or Yang Di-Pertua Negeri may appoint any person to exercise temporarily the functions of any member of the board appointed by him who is absent or unable to act.”