PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court yesterday upheld the Election Court decision to nullify Datuk Seri Anifah Aman’s victory in the Kimanis parliamentary seat in the 14th General Election (GE14).
The apex court decision paves the way for the 10th by-election since GE14.
A five-member bench chaired by Chief Justice Tan Sri Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, unanimously rejected Anifah’s appeal after finding that the Election Court judge had not erred in its findings of facts in the case.
Tengku Maimun said there were no mistakes when the Election Court judge found many malfeasance and unlawful actions against the election regulations, affecting the election outcome.
“The court has also instructed Anifah as the appellant to pay RM70,000 in costs to the party (Datuk Karim Bujang), who submitted the election petition (on that matter),” she said.
Other judges on the bench were Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Datuk Seri David Wong Dak Wah and Federal Court judges Datuk Rohana Yusuf and Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan.
In Kota Kinabalu, Anifah said he had instructed his lawyer to file an application to recuse three Federal Court judges.
The former foreign minister cited three reasons for the appeal, including that the three judges had sat in the previous appeal by Parti Warisan Sabah’s candidate Datuk Karim Bujang on Nov 18 last year.
According to him, the situation therefore would see three judges form an opinion on the same election petition and would therefore not be neutral.
“(Secondly), the practice and convention is that no Sabah judges will adjudicate on election petitions filed in the state.
“Several grounds of today’s appeal are related to the decision of the previous panel,” he added.
In GE14, Anifah won the seat with a 156-vote majority, securing 11,942 votes against Karim, who got 11,786 votes and Pakatan Harapan’s Jaafar Ismail, who garnered 1,300 votes.