Rantau by-election to be held after Malaysian court invalidates Barisan Nasional win

The Special Election Court ruled as null and void the unopposed election of Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan as the Rantau assemblyman in the general election in May.
The Special Election Court ruled as null and void the unopposed election of Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan as the Rantau assemblyman in the general election in May.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

SEREMBAN (BERNAMA) - A by-election will be held for the Rantau seat in Negri Sembilan state after the Special Election Court on Friday (Nov 16) ruled as null and void the unopposed election of the incumbent, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, in Malaysia's 14th General Election in May 2018.

Judge Azimah Omar handed down the judgment after hearing arguments from lawyers of the petitioner, Dr S. Streram, and Mr Mohamed over 12 days. The court also heard the testimonies of 19 witnesses.

In his petition filed on May 23, Dr Streram, an anaesthesiologist, sought a by-election to be held for the Rantau seat as he said its incumbent had not won the seat legitimately.

He named Mr Mohamad, the former mentri besar of Negri Sembilan, as the first respondent, Rembau constituency returning officer Amino Agus Suyub as the second respondent and the Election Commission (EC) as the third respondent.

Mr Mohamad, a member of Umno, part of the Barisan Nasional coalition, won the seat unopposed after Mr Amino allegedly refused to allow Dr Streram into the nomination centre to submit his papers on April 28 because he did not have a valid pass issued by the EC.

Judge Azimah said that no election rule states that a candidate, his proposer and seconder should have a tag or pass to enter the nomination centre. to submit the nomination form. "This was acknowledged by the second and third respondents in their written submissions," she said.

As such, she said, the court allows the petition and rules that Mr Mohamad was not duly elected as the assemblyman for Rantau and that his election is null and void.

The ruling means that Malaysia will see its fifth by-election since the general election.