KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan Sabah election petitioners for the Sipitang parliamentary seat were left in shock when the Election Court struck out their case on Monday (April 8).
The Kuching-based judge Azahari Kamal Ramli had struck out the case on the seat held by former Sabah chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman’s son, Yamani Hafez (pic), after the petitioners applied for an adjournment to a later date.
Petitioner Noor Hayaty Mustapha’s lead counsel Chung Jiun Dau said when the trial started, they had asked the court if they could change the dates to early May, as they had only received the discovery order documents about 7pm last Friday (April 5).
“We wanted to complete our documents and witnesses for this discovery order and had asked the court if we could postpone the trial dates to May 11, as this was also discussed with the defendants,” he said when contacted.
He said Azahari had then called for a stand down while he decided on whether to adjourn the case.
“When we returned to the courtroom, the judge suddenly struck out this case. No one had even requested for the case to be struck out,” Chung said.
He said they were left bewildered and will discuss whether to appeal.
He added that the other necessary documents and witnesses were ready, except for the documents obtained during the inspection of several election related forms at the Election Commission (EC) last Friday.
Sipitang MP Yamani’s lawyer, Tengku Fuad Tengku Ahmad, meanwhile said the judge denied the adjournment application on the grounds the petitioners had ample time to prepare the documents needed for the trial to proceed.
Tengku Fuad quoted Azahari as saying that ample time had been given for these documents to be ready and handed to the court but if the petitioners could not utilise the time given, they there was no need for the trial to go on.
“The judge also said this inability to produce these said documents was seen as an abuse of process and not ready for trial,” he said.
The advocates for Yamani include Jayen Marimuthu, Tengku Fuad, Redzuan Borhan, Rizuan Akle and Azheir Farhan Arisin.
The counsel for the petitioner is led by Chung Jiun Dau, followed by Mohammed Fareez Mohammed Salleh and Melanie Tann Mei Yann.
Yamani won the Sipitang parliamentary seat with a 852-vote majority at 12,038 votes against Warisan (11,186) and Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah (1,547).
Meanwhile, the trial for the Kimanis parliamentary seat election petition has started and is ongoing.
The Kimanis case was brought by Parti Warisan Sabah candidate Datuk Karim Bujang, who lost the seat to Datuk Seri Anifah Aman (Yamani’s uncle) in the the 14th General Election (GE14) last May.
Anifah won with a 156-vote majority, after he garnered 11,942 votes against Karim’s 11,786 votes.