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Election Court allows BN’s petition for Klias

The Barisan Nasional's election petition succeeds, and a full
trial has been ordered for the Klias state seat in Sabah.
KOTA KINABALU: The Barisan Nasional has succeeded in its election petition for the Klias state seat in Sabah with the Election Court deciding to have a full trial to hear the case.

The court’s decision in allowing the first GE13 election petition, could pave way for an by-election, the second since the May 8, 13th general election.

The decision is likely to court protest by the opposition pact Pakatan Rakyat, whose election petitions so far have been dismissed with high costs.
In the last polls, the Klias seat was won by Sabah opposition chief Lajim Ukin who beat Barisan Nasional’s Isnin Aliasnih by a majority of 342 votes.

The decision is the first challenge allowed by the courts on the 13th general election, held on May 5.

The court, however, threw out Lajim’s election petition challenging the result of the Beaufort parliamentary seat, which he lost to Barisan Nasionl.

The petition for the Klias seat, which Lajim won with a 342-vote majority, was filed by Barisan Nasional’s Isnin.

Justice Yew Jen Kie, in making the decision however, struck out Isnin’s petition against the Returning Officer (RO) and Election Commission (EC) and ordered Isnin to pay them RM10,000 each in costs.

He said Isnin did not plead how the RO and EC’s actions had affected the outcome of the Klias seat.

Isnin was represented by counsel Japar Estaban, Saiful Aizat Moktar and Rizwandean Bukhari Borhan.

Justice Yew also struck out Lajim’s petition challenging the validity of the Beaufort results. The seat was won by Barisan’s Azizah Mohd Dun.

Justice Yew ordered Lajim, who was represented by counsel Chau Chin Tang and Lawrence Thien, to pay RM30,000 in costs to Azizah and RM10,000 each to RO Jupari@Jupri Etok and the EC.

Lajim had challenged the outcome of the Beaufort seat in his petition filed on June 11 on various grounds, including abuse of power, unqualified individuals casting their votes, vote buying and discrepancies in the election process.

The Beaufort incumbent was involved in a three-cornered fight with Azizah and Guan Dee Bin Koh Hoi of STAR Sabah.

Azizah, now the Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister, garnered 12,827 votes and won with a slim majority of 673 against Lajims 12,154 votes while Guan Dee only received 409 votes.

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