Malaysia to hold fifth by-election soon, after court ruling

SEREMBAN • Malaysia is set to hold another by-election soon in Negeri Sembilan state after a Special Election Court yesterday ruled as null and void the uncontested victory of a senior Umno leader in the last general election.

Judge Azimah Omar handed down the ruling after hearing over 12 days arguments from the lawyers of the petitioner, Dr S. Streram, and lawyers for Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan over the Rantau state assembly seat.

Mr Mohamad, who is Umno's deputy president, won the seat unopposed after a controversial decision in May by the Election Commission (EC) on nomination day.

Dr Streram of Parti Keadilan Rakyat was blocked by EC officials from entering the nomination centre to file his election papers because he did not have a pass issued by the commission.

But Judge Azimah ruled yesterday that no election rule states that an electoral candidate, proposer and seconder are required to have a tag or pass to submit the nomination form.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said yesterday that Mr Mohamad, 62, will contest the by-election, the fifth since the May general election. "Even though we are facing many obstacles and challenges, the Rantau seat must be defended. For our pride and continuity, let Umno/Barisan Nasional unite," he said in a tweet.

The last four by-elections were won by the Pakatan Harapan ruling coalition. The fourth by-election was also held in Negeri Sembilan, featuring the Port Dickson parliamentary seat last month that was won by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The polling date for Rantau will be decided by the EC.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 17, 2018, with the headline 'Malaysia to hold fifth by-election soon, after court ruling'. Print Edition | Subscribe