EC allowed to set aside stay, redelineation exercise back on track

PUTRAJAYA: The Election Commission (EC) will be able to continue its redelineation exercise, following the Court of Appeal's dismissal of a stay against its local enquiries.

The three-person panel led by Justice Idrus Harun found merit in the EC's application and set aside the Kuala Lumpur High Court's order for a stay pending the Selangor state government's appeal.

However, it was not a unanimous decision, with Justice Yaacob Md Sam in support and Justice Rhodzariah Bujang dissenting.

The panel made no order as to costs.

On Dec 7, the High Court ordered a stay against the EC's local enquiries in Selangor pending resolution of the state government's appeal against its decision.

Justice Azizul Azmi Adnan had dismissed the judicial review which sought to quash its redelineation exercise for the state, ruling that intervention by the judiciary would overstep the boundary of separation of powers.

Local enquiries — which are where the EC hears objections from the public, local authorities, and state government —  must be held before the EC can conclude its redelineation process.

The stay effectively paused the EC's redelineation exercise in peninsular Malaysia, as it was expected to produce a single complete redelineation report representing all states.

During the hearing Monday, senior federal counsel Datuk Amarjeet Singh Serjit Singh represented the EC, while Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan acted for the state government.

A fire drill in the Palace of Justice at 10.30am interrupted the hearing temporarily, though the Judges reconvened to deliver its decision before noon.