KUALA TERENGGANU, Sept 26 — The Terengganu Election Court today nullified the victory of Kemaman Member of Parliament Che Alias Hamid, of PAS, in the 15th General Election (GE15).
Judge Datuk Anselm Charles Fernandis said the petitioner in the case, Wan Mohamad Hisham Wan Abdul Jalil, who is a voter, succeeded in proving that corruption had taken place with the aim of influencing voters in GE15.
The court also ordered the respondent to pay RM30,000 to the petitioner
“I find corruption was committed with the knowledge of the respondent. I declare the general election result for Kemaman which was held on 19th November (last year) is void… The money given was to induce votes.
” (If it was a state government’s initiative) I considered that after the election it could still happen, but it happened a few days before the general election. All politicians should know the effect.
“No doubt the state government still existed during that time (because the GE and state election were held separately) but that did not mean that the kind of programmes (fund distribution) should be held so close to the GE date,” he said here, today.
Anselm said the programmes should be held after or before the campaign period to avoid the elements of inducement.
The official programme said to be organised by the Terengganu government included the Bantuan i-Belia and i-Siswa and contributions for the disabled and asnaf (tithe recipients).
The petitioner was represented by lawyers Datuk Hafarizam Harun, Amin Othman, and Norhazira Abu Haiyan, while Che Alias was represented by lawyers Saifuddin Othman and Wan Rohimi Wan Daud.
Meanwhile, Hafarizam, when met by reporters after the proceedings, said the judge had called the lead counsel of both parties into his chambers and informed them that should there be no appeal, he would notify the Election Commission of today’s decision on Oct 3.
In the GE15 held in November 2022, Che Alias won the Kemaman parliamentary seat after obtaining 65,714 votes in a four-cornered fight.
He defeated Datuk Seri Ahmad Said, of Barisan Nasional (BN) who garnered 38,535 votes, with a majority of 27,179 votes.
The other two contenders were Rosli Ab. Ghani (Pejuang) and Hasuni Sudin (Pakatan Harapan) who obtained 506 votes and 8,340 votes, respectively.
On Jan 3 this year, Terengganu UMNO filed a petition to annul the results of the Kuala Terengganu, Marang and Kemaman parliamentary seats during the 15th General Election.
Ahmad, who is Terengganu BN chairman, was reported to have said that among the points raised in the petition were allegations that PAS had bribed voters by distributing financial aid from the state government through the i-Pension, i-Belia and i-Student initiatives between Nov 15 to 17, 2022, which was just a few days before GE15.
However, on Feb 12, the Terengganu Election Court dismissed the BN petition against Che Alias Hamid and retained the PAS representative’s victory in GE15.
PAS Law and Human Rights Bureau secretary Ahmad Lufti Awang, in a statement, said Judge Datuk Mohamad Abazafree Mohd Abbas also ordered the petitioner, Wan Mohamad Hisham Wan Abdul Jalil, to pay costs totalling RM30,000 to Che Alias.
However, on May 2, the Federal Court ordered the election petition that was filed to challenge the GE15 results for the Kemaman parliamentary seat to be sent back to the High Court for a full hearing.