High Court throws out polls petition


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 15 Jul 2004

BY V.P. SUJATA

CASE DISMISSED: Lee talking to his counsel Naran Singh outside the High Court in Ipoh on Wednesday.

IPOH: The High Court here dismissed with costs, an election petition to nullify the result of the Pasir Bedamar state seat. 

Judge Datuk Zainun Ali said the petition filed by state People’s Progressive Party (PPP) chairman Lee Heng was defective despite amendments made earlier. 

In allowing the preliminary objections made by the respondent Seah Leong Peng from the DAP, she said the petition had no material facts and particulars to support the allegations in two areas of breach, namely, an advertisement and on canvassing for votes. 

Lee, who lost to Seah by a 3,391 votes, filed the petition on May 5 on grounds that an advertisement which appeared in a Chinese daily on March 20, the eve of polling day, had misled the voters. 

Citing undue influence, Lee said the full-page advertisement urged voters to vote for Barisan Nasional candidate (Datuk Mah Siew Keong) for the parliamentary seat of Telok Intan and to vote for Seah for the Pasir Bedamar state seat. 

Lee also alleged that Seah and his agents were seen canvassing for votes in the compound of a polling station when the Election Commission’s new ruling was to only allow such canvassing 50m away from the polling station. 

Justice Zainun said although the petition displayed specifics of the allegation and provided the exhibit (the said advertisement), she was unable to reconcile the advertisement with the ingredients of undue influence. 

“I agree with counsel for respondent that the advertisement is neutral. There might be mischief there and may not be entirely innocuous,” she said. 

She added that there was nothing to link the respondent to the advertisement other than conjecture. 

On the allegations of canvassing for votes, Justice Zainun said the respondent was left in the dark as to who were the canvassers and who were the voters who had been approached as no names or time was provided in the petition. 

“The allegation is framed in such a way as to give an unfair advantage to the petitioner of calling any witness and does not allow the respondent a fair chance of meeting the allegation,” she said. 

Seah’s lead counsel Chan Kok Keong asked the court to order that costs be paid for two counsels to which it was agreed. 

Lee was represented by Naran Singh, Wazer Alam Mydin and Manjit Kaur while Seah’s counsel were Chan, David Chai, Nga Hock Cheh and Ngeh Koo Ham.  

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