GEORGE TOWN: Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Marzuki Yahya, who lost the Tasek Gelugor parliamentary seat by 81 votes in the 14th General Election, will meet with his lawyers today to decide whether he wants to appeal the High Court decision to dismiss his election petition.
His counsel Muhammad Rafique Rashid Ali said the appeal needed to be filed within 14 days from yesterday, after the petition was dismissed by Justice Hashim Hamzah, who sat as the Election Court judge.
Marzuki, a senator from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, was defeated on May 9 by the Barisan Nasional incumbent Datuk Shabudin Yahaya, who polled 18,547 votes.
The Pakatan Harapan candidate obtained 18,466 votes while Rizal Hafiz Ruslan of PAS got 14,891 votes.
“We will meet Marzuki tomorrow (today) to see if we should appeal.
“My client has always said this case is not about who wins or loses, but about the voters’ rights.
“We believe there are merits in this case that need to be discussed,” he said when met outside the court here yesterday.
Shabudin said the court decision proved that the result was valid.
“I am happy that I can continue to serve the people as the Tasek Gelugor MP.
“I would like to thank Umno and Barisan, my faithful supporters and my lawyers for handling the case,” Shabudin, the first respondent in the petition, told reporters.
The returning officer for Tasek Gelugor and the Election Commission (EC) were named the second and third respondents respectively.
Justice Hashim, in dismissing the case, said the petition failed to list down the wrongful act by the three respondents and did not categorise the wrongful act by the EC.
“What is written in the petition must strictly follow the Elections Act 1958,” he said.
As for the recounting of votes requested by Marzuki, Justice Hashim said it ought to be done at the polling station.
The judge ordered Marzuki to pay Shabudin RM10,000 in costs.
Muhammad Rafique then requested that the court proceed with the case against the second and third respondents as both had withdrawn their preliminary objections against the petition.
EC lawyer Marina Nasution said the petition should be dismissed since the petition itself had defects.
Justice Hashim dismissed the case in its entirety without costs awarded to the second and third respondents.
Shabudin was represented by Simon Tan while Marzuki’s lawyers included Azlina Mehtab Mohd Ishaq.
Among those with Shabudin in court were state Umno chairman Datuk Musa Sheikh Fadzir, state opposition leader Muhamad Yusoff Mohd Nor and Permatang Berangan assemblyman Nor Hafizah Othman.
Marzuki had filed an election petition to recount 689 spoilt votes and 297 unreturned (postal) votes after losing to Shabudin.