PETALING JAYA: Everyone must stop making baseless statements against the tribunal formed to investigate former members of the Election Commission (EC), says DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang’s political secretary, Syahredzan Johan.
According to Syahredzan, the announcement of the setting-up of the tribunal last Oct 17 meant that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad represented the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in constituting the tribunal.
“As such, there was no error or impropriety on the part of the Prime Minister at the time. It would also mean that the tribunal was properly constituted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
“Since the tribunal was constituted, it is only proper that the proceedings should commence on the day, even if it is to decide whether it should proceed,” he said in a statement posted on Facebook on Friday (Feb 2).
Syahredzan, who is also a lawyer, cited Article 114(3) of the Federal Constitution, which states that it does not empower the King to reject or delay the resignations.
As such, he said, the claim by certain quarters that the Attorney General should have counselled the Prime Minister to advise the King to reject the resignations until after the Tribunal concluded did not appear to have any constitutional basis.
“It must be remembered that there are serious allegations against these EC members during the 14th General Elections.
"If the Tribunal decides that it can still proceed and that its functions have become academic, then these allegations must be investigated thoroughly.
“The former EC members should not be allowed to escape from answering these allegations by way of their resignations,” he said.
Syahredzan also said it was absurd that those who claimed that a general election could be held if the tribunal found any wrongdoing on the part of the EC members.
According to him, Article 118 of the Federal Constitution clearly stated that the results of an election could only be challenged by an election petition.
He pointed out that the Election Offences Act stated that an election petition must be filed within 21 days of the results having been gazetted.
“Thus, the time to file any petition on the GE14 results had long passed.” he added.
On Thursday (Jan 31), Attorney-General Tommy Thomas was criticised following a contradictory statement over the proceedings of a tribunal against six former EC members.
Thomas had said that the proceedings would “not be academic”, even though they had already quit, adding that their resignation was a deliberate move to frustrate the tribunal's investigation into their misconduct while in office.
Some lawyers have criticised Thomas, claiming that the latter’s statement was uncalled for and unethical.