KOTA KINABALU: The High Court here has allowed a hearing for Barisan Nasional's election petition for the Klias state seat, held by Sabah Opposition chief Datuk Lajim Ukin.
This the first challenge allowed on the May 5 general election results.
However, the court rejected Lajim's election petition challenging the result of Beaufort parliamentary seat, which he lost to Barisan.
The petition for the Klias seat, which Lajim won with 342-vote majority, was filed by Barisan's Isnin Aliasnih, who secured 6,182 votes against Lajim's 6,324.
However, Justice Yew Jen Kie struck out Isnin's petition against the Returning Officer (RO) and Election Commission (EC) and ordered Isnin to pay them RM10,000 each in costs.
He said Isnin did not plead how the RO and EC's actions had affected the outcome of the Klias seat.
Isnin was represented by counsel Japar Estaban, Saiful Aizat Moktar and Rizwandean Bukhari Borhan.
Justice Yew also struck out Lajim's petition challenging the validity of the Beaufort results. The seat was won by Barisan's Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun.
Justice Yew ordered Lajim, who was represented by counsel Datuk Chau Chin Tang and Datuk Lawrence Thien, to pay RM30,000 in costs to Azizah and RM10,000 each to RO Jupari@Jupri Etok and the EC during the hearing Monday evening.
Lajim had challenged the outcome of the Beaufort seat in his petition filed on June 11 on various grounds, including abuse of power, unqualified individuals casting their votes, vote buying and discrepancies in the election process.
The Beaufort incumbent was involved in a three-cornered fight with Azizah and Guan Dee Bin Koh Hoi of STAR Sabah.
Azizah, now the Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister, garnered 12,827 votes and won with a slim majority of 673 against Lajims 12,154 votes while Guan Dee only received 409 votes.