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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Nurul asks why AG’s appeal over redelineation exercise rushed

The developments unfolding in her case do not inspire confidence in the judiciary, says the Lembah Pantai MP.
izzah-sprKUALA LUMPUR: Nurul Izzah Anwar has questioned the speed with which the administrator of the Court of Appeal has moved to fix a date to hear the Attorney-General’s (AG) appeal over a case involving the Election Commission (EC).
The administrator has set Feb 15 to hear the AG’s appeal to stop a High Court from hearing a judicial review application filed by her and 10 voters to quash the EC’s proposal to redraw the Lembah Pantai seat.
“I understand it takes at least two months for an appellate court to hear an appeal. In our case, it has been fixed fast and on Feb 15.
“Moreover, why is a special panel being convened to hear this case,” she asked.
Nurul, who is also PKR vice-president, said usually a court would fix appeal dates after an appellant had filed grounds for appeal.
“In this case, we do not know what is the basis for the appeal as we have not been notified,” Nurul told a news conference at the Jalan Duta Court complex today.
The two-term MP said the developments in this case did not inspire confidence in the judiciary.
Nurul said she did not discount the possibility of withdrawing her case in order “not to scuttle a similar suit filed by the Selangor government against the EC.”
“I will do some consultation whether to withdrew our action and any decision must be due to strategic consideration,” said Nurul, who is also PKR’s director of elections.
Nurul’s lawyer Surendra Ananth had told FMT the Court of Appeal had fixed Feb 13 to hear the AG’s appeal before a special panel.
He said the AG’s application to stay the High Court from hearing the judicial review had been fixed for this Friday.
Judge Azizul Azmi Adnan, who allowed the application by Nurul and the voters earlier this month, had fixed Feb 15 to hear the merits of the case.
Azizul had said the application was not frivolous and the applicants had legal standing to file the case.
He said the EC was only involved in a decision-making process and it was susceptible to judicial review by the court.
The applicants who filed the judicial review application last November had named the EC, its chairman Mohd Hashim Abdullah and secretary Abdul Ghani Salleh as respondents.
Nurul said the redelineation exercise went against the fundamental principle of “one person, one vote, one value” due to gerrymandering and apportioning seats that would favour the ruling incumbent.
On Sept 15, the EC advertised a notice in major newspapers to redraw election boundaries for the peninsula and Sabah.
Currently, the EC is conducting an inquiry to prepare its report to be submitted to parliament, which must be done within 24 months.
A similar challenge by the Selangor government is before Azizul who is now hearing the merit of the lawsuit. -FMT

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