Datuk Lajim Ukin - File pix
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah opposition chief Datuk Lajim Ukin says he can now concentrate on serving the people.
Lajim maintained his victory for the Klias state seat after the Federal Court dismissed an appeal by Barisan Nasional candidate Isnin Aliasnih.
Reacting to the decision on Monday, Lajim said the ruling puts an end once and for all to the uncertainty over his victory of the Klias state seat.
"I can now focus on serving the people of Klias. The court decision removes any doubt or uncertainty to my position as Klias assemblyman,’’ said an elated Lajim.
The five-man bench chaired by Justice Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin ruled on Monday that Isnin, who was the appellant, had failed to produce sufficient facts that Wong Kui En @ Norliah was an agent to Lajim.
"We are in agreement that there is no evidence to support this inference at all. Thus, we dismiss the appeal with a cost of RM20,000," he said.
Other judges who presided the case were Justice Tan Sri Suriyadi Halim Omar, Justice Tan Sri Ahmad Maaarof, Justice Tan Sri Apandi Ali and Justice Datuk Ramly Ali.
On Dec 6, last year, Kota Kinabalu High Court Justice Datuk Yew Jen Kie held that there was no evidence linking Lajim to any alleged corrupt practices as claimed in the petition brought by defeated Barisan Nasional candidate Isnin Aliasnih of Umno.
Isnin's counsel Jaafar Esteban had said that Norliah was appointed as Lajim's polling agent and that he (Lajim) was accountable for her actions at the balloting centre on polling day.
"Any alleged corrupt acts by Norliah before that and outside of the polling centre was at her own frolic," Justice Yew held.
She also held that there was no evidence showing that campaigning was within the scope of Norlia's responsibilities as Lajim's polling agent.
On testimonies from several witnesses that they had received envelopes containing money, a coupon and a note as well as a promise of another RM100 from Norliah on May 4, Justice Yew held that there was no evidence showing Lajim was aware or had consented to the distribution of the items.
Lajim won the Klias seat on a PKR ticket with a 342-vote majority by securing 6,324 votes against Isnin's 6,182 ballots during the May 5 general election.