Dr Streram's RM7.6mil suit against EC to go to trial

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has ordered Pakatan Harapan's Rantau candidate Dr S. Streram's suit against a returning officer and Election Commission (EC) over an alleged misuse of power to go to trial.

Dr Streram filed the RM7.6mil suit claiming misfeasance in public office and had named returning officer Amino Agos Suyub and the EC as the defendants.

High Court Judicial Commissioner Daryl Goon ordered the matter to proceed to a full trial after dismissing Amino Agos and EC's application to strike out Dr Streram's suit on the grounds that the court was satisfied the legal action was filed separately from the election petition.

Dr Streram's lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla told reporters after proceedings in chambers on Monday (Sept 3) that the court dismissed the striking out application and instructed the matter to proceed.

Mohamed Haniff said the court ruled that the present lawsuit was not related to the election petition filed by his client.

"In this suit, it is related to general and exemplary damages which my client should get compensation if he can prove that there is misfeasance in public office," he said.

He said the court then fixed Nov 2 as the next case management.

In the statement of claim, Dr Streram said he had paid a nomination deposit of RM5,000 and RM3,000 for campaign material at the EC office in Seremban, Negri Sembilan, on April 25.

He said he was not informed by the EC at any time that name tags or entry passes were needed for the candidate and his representatives to enter the nomination hall on April 28.

The plaintiff alleged that at 4.30pm on April 27, he was informed by a friend that he needed to take the tags and passes at the Rembau District Office in Negri Sembilan.

He reached the office at 6.45pm only to find that it was closed.

He said an officer told him that he could take the tags and passes the next morning before submitting the nomination form.

Dr Streram, 63, alleged that at 9am the next day, he was not allowed to enter the nomination hall and at 9.20am, a proposer came out of the hall and took the nomination form.

The proposer informed an EC officer that the plaintiff was outside the hall and could not enter the hall as he did not have the name tag and entry pass.

He said at 9.40am, the candidate for Paroi told him that his nomination form had been rejected by the EC as the proposer and supporter were not present in the hall.

He said he found out that the Barisan Nasional's Rantau candidate Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan won unopposed when the EC announced the news at the nomination centre.

Dr Streram is seeking RM5mil in general damages, RM2.6mil in exemplary damages and other relief deemed fit by the court.