The courts in 2019: Ex-CM’s appeal tops high-profile cases


Anifah (centre) leaving the Election Court accompanied by one of his lawyers and supporters.

The year 2019 was no less dramatic where high-profile cases were heard before the courts.
Topping the list was the case of former Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman, whose highly anticipated appeal was sensationally dismissed by the three-member bench of Court of Appeal judges, who upheld the High Court decision to dismiss his suit challenging the appointment of Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal as Sabah Chief Minister.
On Nov 28, Musa failed in his appeal when the Court of Appeal allowed Shafie’s preliminary objection to strike out Musa’s appeal.

The three-member bench in its unanimous decision held that they found merit in the preliminary objection and that they agreed with the submission of Shafie’s counsel that the appeal was academic.

Consequently, a second appeal filed by Parti Bersatu Sabah’s Tamparuli assemblyman Datuk Jahid Jahim challenging the legality of the present State Cabinet, was also dismissed with no cost.
On Nov 7, 2018 the High Court here dismissed the Originating Summons brought by Musa against Juhar and Shafie that Musa was the lawful chief minister.
The High Court, among others, held that Musa had lost the command of the confidence of the majority of the Assembly after the Head of State received six statutory declarations affirmed by six assemblymen from BN-Sabah pledging their support for Shafie to be appointed as Chief Minister.
Musa, who claimed that he is and still remains as the Chief Minister of the State of Sabah, was challenging his purported removal as the Chief Minister of the State of Sabah by Juhar and the subsequent appointment of Shafie as the Chief Minister in place of him on the ground that Juhar had acted ultra vires of the Sabah Constitution.
Musa’s younger brother, former foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman also suffered a blow after losing his Kimanis seat due to the Election Commission had contravened the election law during the last general election.
On Aug 16, The Election Court declared his win as void.
Sibu-based High Court Judge Datuk Lee Heng Cheong in delivering his two-part decision held that there were irregularities in the election procedures that affected the result of the Kimanis parliamentary election.
He found serious breaches in the conduct of the election process with over 300 votes improperly cast, an offence under Section 32(b) of the Election Offences Act.
The court also held that the election held on May 9, 2018 was void and that Anifah has not duly elected as MP of Kimanis.
Petitioner, Datuk Karim Bujang who was Parti Warisan Sabah candidate for the seat had on June 18, 2018 filed an election petition to challenge the election results in which Anifah won with a 156-vote majority after he garnered 11, 942 votes against Karim’s 11, 786 votes.
He named Anifah, the Returning Officer (RO) and Election Commission (EC) of Malaysia as the first, second and third respondent, respectively in the election petition.
On Dec 2, the Federal Court in Putrajaya upheld the Election Court ruling nullifying Anifah’s victory in the Kimanis parliamentary seat in the last general election, thus paving the way for a by-election in the constituency.
The five-member bench unanimously dismissed Anifah’s appeal to set aside the Election Court ruling, by ruling that the Election Court judge had not erred in the findings of facts.

The apex court said there were discrepancies in the conduct of the election process and widespread non-compliance of election laws, which had affected the outcome of the polls.

However, Anifah’s nephew, Sipitang MP Yamani Hafez Musa survived an election petition challenge.
On April 8, Yamani retained his position as the Sipitang MP when the Election Court struck out the petition by Sipitang Parti Warisan Sabah candidate to challenge his victory in the 14th General Election.
The Election Court made the order after he disallowed the petitioner Norhayaty Mustapha’s application to have an adjournment of the trial and to reschedule the five days trial to May.

On June 26, the Federal Court dismissed Norhayaty’s appeal against the Election’s Court’s decision, allowing Yamani to keep his seat.

Yong (third from left) with his counsel outside the court.
Another top-of-the list was the suit filed by a former chief minister Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee and another against the appointment of Datuk Amarjit Singh as the Director of the Water Department.
On Oct 9, the High Court had ruled that the appointment of Amarjit as the Director of the Water Department by the State Government contravenes Section 3 of the Water Supply Enactment 2003.
The High Court held that Amarjit’s appointment is a clear breach of Section 3 of Sabah Water Supply Enactment 2003 because he was not a member of the State Public Service prior to his appointment as the Director of Sabah State Water Department.
The court delivered the decision for the suit filed by Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee and Tawau businessman Pang Thou Chung (the plaintiffs), on March 19 this year, who were seeking a court declaration that the appointment of Amarjit last year is null and void as it contravened the Sabah Water Supply Enactment 2003.
In November, operators of slot machine establishments’ in Keningau, Tawau, Kudat, Penampang and here had filed leave for Judicial Review over the State Government’s decision to ban operation of slot machine businesses in Sabah starting next year.
The leave application would be heard on Jan 3 next year.
Meanwhile, this year saw two murder cases were brought to the court and waiting to be transferred to the High Court.
On June 10, a Filipino and a local man were charged with the murder of a Grab driver in Tuaran.
Car wash workers Arsit Indanan, 20, and local Amru Al Asy Japri, 24, allegedly murdered one Mohammad Hanafiee Jaffar, 27, inside a Proton Saga FLX car between 4am and 5am on May 25 at the roadside of Jalan Marabahai in Tuaran.
Left: Arsit (left) and Amru (right) being escort to the courtroom
Right: Yamani (left) discussing with his lead counsel outside the court.
On Oct 29, 10 prisons personnel including an officer were charged at the Magistrate’s Court here Tuesday with murdering an inmate at Kepayan Prison.

Prison Inspector Dzulfikri Mohd Safri, 28, and wardens Barry Jipmon, 30, Farizan Mokri, 40, Mohd Saiful Saidin, 34, Amran Yasik, 25, Ab Mutalib @ Talib Abd Rasul, 40, Zerry Maidin, 33, Tomy Momoh, 36, Shahryll Nazry Wan Sofian, 25, and Muhammad Fazi Lakui, 32, were brought before Magistrate Lovely Natasha Charles.
They were all jointly accused of murdering one Shainal Mukhtar, 36, in a cell of Gemilang Block, at Kota Kinabalu Central Prison, Jalan Kepayan near here at 4.30pm, on Oct 4.
Meanwhile, on March 28, a 37-year-old Filipino, who tried to kill an Australian homestay operator in Tamparuli, Tuaran two months ago, was jailed 13 years.

Roy Totong pleaded guilty at the Sessions Court to committing the offence to one Broadhurst Daniel Barry, 46, by slashing his head with a machete at 2pm on Jan 24, this year by the roadside in Kg Kiwoi.
The 10 personnel wearing hoodie and face mask to conceal their face being photographed while being escorted to a vehicle at the court complex.

By: Jo Ann Mool.

Read more @ http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news/145613/the-courts-in-2019-ex-cm-s-appeal-tops-high-profile-cases/

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