PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): The Penang government intends to challenge the Election Commission's (EC) redelineation exercise of electoral boundaries, which it claimed was not drawn constitutionally, despite the conclusion of the 14th general election.
Lawyer Leong Cheok Keng, representing the Penang government, said the redelineation exercise, which was approved by the Dewan Rakyat just before the 14th general election, would remain in force for at least eight years.
Citing Article 113 (2) (ii) of the Federal Constitution, he said a review of the electoral boundary map would only commence in eight years.
"The electoral boundary map would also be applicable in the 15th general election, scheduled in 2023," he added.
Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop, who chaired a Federal Court three-man panel, had queried Leong on whether his client still wanted to pursue its leave to appeal application as the matter had become academic following the conclusion of the 14th general election.
The Penang government filed a leave to appeal application in the Federal Court after losing their legal action in the High Court and Court of Appeal which refused to grant the state government leave to commence its judicial review to challenge the EC's redelineation exercise.
Also presiding on the panel were Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Datuk David Wong Dak Wah and Federal Court judge Datuk Alizatul Khair Osman Khairuddin.
Justice Ahmad also asked senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan whether he was representing Attorney-General (AG) Tommy Thomas or the EC, following a statement issued by the AG last July 23 that the AG's Chambers would no longer represent the EC in court.
Shamsul said his instruction was to represent the AG as the case was argued in the High Court at a preliminary stage where leave to commence the judicial review was refused.
Justice Ahmad then adjourned the hearing of the Penang government's leave to appeal application and directed for the matter to go for case management to allow the EC to engage a lawyer.
On Nov 20 last year, the Penang High Court denied the state government's bid for leave to initiate judicial review to challenge the EC's proposals for redelineation of electoral boundaries.
The Penang government also sought for a certiorari order for the EC's recommendations to be quashed and the 2016 electoral roll to be revoked.
The state government also lost its appeal at the Court of Appeal, which dismissed the matter on Feb 21, this year.
This prompted the state government to bring the matter to the Federal Court by filing a leave to appeal application. - Bernama
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