Thursday, 28 August 2008

Dismissed with costs


Election petitions for Tuaran, Kundasang dismissed
Reports by BERNAMA

KOTA KINABALU, THURS: The Election Court here today dismissed with costs, a petition challenging the election of former Sabah Mmnister Datuk Wilfred Mojilip Bumburing as the Tuaran MP in the last general election.

Justice Datuk Linton Albert also dismissed with costs the election petition challenging the result for the Kundasang state seat which was won by Barisan Nasional(BN)’s Dr Joachim Gunsalam.

In dismissing the Tuaran petition, Linton ruled that the election was carried out legally with no evidence to suggest fraudulence or corrupt practices as claimed.

“There is no reason to declare the election void because the several manifestations of bribery, corrupt and illegal practice alleged by the petitioner have not been proven,” he said.

Bumburing, who is UPKO Deputy President, of the BN won the seat with a majority of 6,622 votes, beating arch rival Sabah Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) head Ansari Abdullah and independent candidate Ajin Gagah.

The petition was filed by Ansari’s election agent, Lim Ching Ping.

In his 10-page judgment, Linton said the petition was grounded almost entirely on the distribution of hard cash ranging from RM50 to RM700, to parents of poor schoolchildren in schools throughout the constituency under the scheme, aptly called Kumpulan Wang Amanah Pelajar Miskin (KWAPM).

He said the element of “bargaining” had not been established, in respect of the corrupt practice of bribery, to the standard of beyond reasonable doubt.

He gave similiar reasoning in dismissing the election petition filed by defeated independent candidate for the Kundasang seat, Japiril Suhaimin.

Japiril, in asking the court to declare that Dr Gunsalam was not duly elected in the election, claimed that at several villages and schools in Kundasang, Dr Gunsalam or his agents had distributed money to poor students under the KWAPM (Poor Students Group Trust Fund).

Dr Gunsalam won the state seat, garnering 3,597 votes while Japiril secured 1,791 votes. Karim Adam, the PKR candidate, polled 1,180 votes.

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