Friday, January 16, 2009




The hearing of Deputy Federal Rural and Regional Minister Tan Sri Jospeh Kurup’s appeal against the Election Court’s decision to declare his victory in Pensiangan parliamentary constituency in the last general election null and void has been rescheduled to Feb 12 and 13.

George Aludah, Kurup's counsel, said the hearing would be held at the Federal Court in town when contacted yesterday.

He added the appeal which was supposed to be heard yesterday at the Federal Court in Kuala Lumpur, had been put off because the Sabah lawyers who have not been called to the Malaysian Bar under the Legal Profession Act, do not have their rights of appearance before the courts in West Malaysia.

He said for West Malaysian lawyers to practise in Sabah, they can apply to practise on an ‘ad hoc’ basic through ‘ad hoc’ admission but there is no such provision for Sabah lawyers to practise in West Malaysia.

On Sept 8, last year, the Election Court judge David Wong Dak Wah declared Pensiangan parliamentary election result in March last year as null and void due to wrongful rejection of the nomination papers of Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s candidate Danny Anthony Andipai.

JudgeWong held that the wrongful rejection of the nomination papers had breached the petitioner’s constitutional right to participate in the election and the written law relating to the conduct of the election under the Election Offences Act.

“After taking into consideration of the totality of the evidence before me, it is my finding that the objections to the petitioner’s nomination papers should be and are treated by me as invalid,” Judge Wong said in declaring Kurup's election as void.

Judge Wong also awarded costs to Danny who was represented by Counsel Ansari Abdullah, Datuk Chau Chin Tang, and Erveana Ansari.

Danny, 41, filed the petition on April 29, last year at the High Court registry here to seek, among others, an order for the court that the election of Kurup who was the first respondent of the election petition, be declared null and void.

Kurup who is the Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) president, won the seat uncontested after the nomination papers of Danny and Independent candidate Saineh Usau were rejected by Election Commission Returning Officer Bubudan OT Majalu who was the second respondent on grounds of late submission.

The hearing of the petition started on July 10, last year where the petitioner called a total of 11 witnesses while the first and second respondents called six and two witnesses respectively.