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Monday, January 9, 2017

Court: Voters not entitled to know how EC decided on redelineation

The Court of Appeal today ruled that voters cannot get information from the Election Commission over how it arrived to the process of redelineation.
In a unanimous decision, the appellate Court in Putrajaya also ruled that lawyer and activist Haris Ibrahim had not pleaded how his rights would be infringed by the EC's decision.
Justice Zamani A Rahim who wrote the judgment said the absence of federal legislation regarding freedom of information compared to in India and Canada also resulted in such information cannot be given.
"Based on the above (Haris) appeal is without merit and should be refused. It is a challenge to the constitutional duties of the EC as specified under Article 113 of the Federal Constitution," he said.
Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat who led the panel that also consisted of Justice Ahmadi Asnawi and Justice Zamani, made no order as to costs.
Haris told reporters that with the decision today what it meant is that the people must continue with reforms of the various institutions including EC.
He said he will seek advice over the next course of action.
The lawyer and activist said the result of redelineation is that in his constituency of Petaling Jaya Selatan, which originally had 90,000 voters, would now become Petaling Jaya with about 150,000 voters.
"My votes are now diluted as a result of this," he said.
Lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar appeared for Haris while senior federal counsel Suzana Aran appeared for EC.
(More to follow)

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