KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 (Bernama) -- The Election Court here today declared that the Barisan Nasional’s victory for the Parliamentary constituency of Cameron Highlands as null and void after ruling that corrupt practices were committed to induce voters in the constituency.
Judge Datuk Azizah Nawawi held that corrupt practices had been proven to have been committed with the knowledge and consent of the respondent (Cameron Highlands MP Datuk C. Sivarraajh) in the election, namely giving of money to voters to induce them to vote for BN.
“However, I will not report any person who has been proven at the trial to have been guilty of any corrupt practice because of the inconsistencies in the evidence of the petitioner’s own witness as to the identity of the person who had actually given the money,” she said.
She said it was not in dispute that the Orang Asli (in Cameron Highlands) would welcome any assistance be it cash or in kind from all parties including the presentation of a lawn mower by the petitioner ( DAP candidate M. Manogaran) himself.
The judge further said in fact, the evidence showed that the money was used for daily expenses but the intention of the recipient was not relevant.
“I am of the considered opinion that the petitioner has established beyond reasonable doubt that bribery was proven, in that money was given to voters either directly by the respondent or indirectly through Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail (Jelai assemblyman) or Achom (an Orang Asli who acted as an agent for Wan Rosdy) and that the money was given to the voters to induce them to vote (for BN) ,” she said, adding that she will notify the Election Commission of the decision.
The judge noted that even though there were contradictary evidence from witnesses during the trial on who was giving the money, there was no doubt that money was given to the Orang Asli.
"I'm of the opinion that it is the act of giving that should be proven. Even though there is contradictions, there is no dispute that money was given to the Orang Asli.
“Therefore, I find that corrupt practice was committed in connection with the election with the knowledge of the respondent. Consequently, I declare that the election for the Parliamentary constituency of Cameron Highlands P.078 held on May 9 as void,” she said.
With this ruling, a by-election will held for the constituency.
She said since the petitioner (Sivarraajh) had failed to prove all his allegations, she was ordering him to pay costs at RM15,000 to the respondent (Manogaran).
The judge made the ruling after hearing evidence from witnesses including from the Orang Asli community in the constituency.
Manogaran, 59, filed the petition last June 4 seeking a declaration that the GE14 results for the Cameron Highlands parliamentary seat was null and void as it violated the Election Offences Act 1954 because the respondent (Sivarraajh) had allegedly bribed voters from the Orang Asli community to vote for him.
He also claimed that Sivarraajh, who campaigned with Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail, who is now Pahang Menteri Besar, had bribed Orang Asli voters between RM30 to RM1,000 through several Tok Batins (community chiefs) to ensure they voted for the Barisan Nasional in the five-cornered fight for the Cameron Highlands seat.
In GE14, Sivarraajh won the Cameron Highlands parliamentary seat by garnering 10,307 votes to defeat the other four candidates.
Lawyer K. Shanmuga, represented Manogaran while Sivarraajh was represented by lawyer Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun.