Posts Tagged 'Pensiangan By-Election'

Kurup keeps MP seat on Firday the 13th.

A victorious Tan Sri Kurup with his supporters after his appeal was allowed by the Federal Court yesterday

A victorious Tan Sri Kurup with his supporters after his appeal was allowed by the Federal Court yesterday

For some supertitious people, Friday the 13th is about a day of bad luck. According to folklorists, the belief that Friday the 13th is a particularly unlucky day is a modern amalgamation of two older superstitions: that thirteen is an unlucky number and that Friday is an unlucky day. But to PBRS President, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, Friday the 13th seems to be a lucky and glorious day. This is so when the Federal Court ruled that he was in fact, duly elected as the Member of Parliament of Pensiangan on nomination day, February, the 24th, 2008.

In the absence of Appeal Court President Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff and Chief Justice of Malaya Datuk Arifin Zakaria, the Federal Court Judge, Datuk Nik Hashim Nik Abdul Rahman delivered a unanimous decision to declare Tan Sri Kurup as duly elected. Inter alia he said “There had not been any failure on the part of the returning officer to comply with the election laws. Accordingly, we unanimously allow the appeal with costs here and the court below,”

Nik Hashim further held that the requirement that the nomination papers must be delivered between 9am and 10am was mandatory and that the returning officer was justified in upholding the objection and rejecting Andipai’s nomination papers for non compliance with regulation 6(2)(b) of the Elections (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1981 which provides that the nomination papers in triplicate must be delivered to the returning officer between 9am and 10am on nomination day by the candidate and seconder or by any two or any one of them.

The Federal Court’s grounds of decision were further highlighted by the Daily Express in its 14th March 2009 publication as follows:-

Nik Hashim said that it was true, as the election judge decided, that the Election Commission had the power of control and supervision over the conduct of elections and that the returning officer was subjected to the direction of the Commission.

“Nevertheless, such power and direction must be exercised according to law,” he said. In this case, the commission’s deputy director’s directive to the returning officer to accept Andipai’s nomination papers outside the time frame was contrary to regulation 6(2)(b) of the Regulation.

“The Election Judge was erroneous when he held that the power of the Election Commission overrides the Regulations. Nothing in the law provides for such power,” he said.

Nik Hashim further said the court held that it was not within the purview of the Election Commission to effect any amendment to election regulation relating to the conduct of elections.

The court also held that while it was true there were 12 people who wanted to be candidates and only one counter opened at the nomination centre, nevertheless, the responsibility for submitting the nomination papers to the returning officer within the time fame lay with the candidates.

“No statutory duty is imposed on the returning officer to ensure that all nomination papers of all candidates present at the nomination centre must be accepted but only to ensure that no nomination papers are to be accepted during the time frame (9am-10am),” Nik Hashim held.

He said the court was also unanimous in holding that in this case the fault lay with Andipai for failing to deliver his nomination papers within the stipulated time to the returning officer.

The court also held that Andipai had pleaded the facts and grounds of his petition but without specifying which provision of written law relating to the conduct of election had not been complied with by the returning officer.

“This failure is fatal. Parties are bound by their pleadings. Since the mandatory requirements stipulated by section 32(b) of the Election Offences Act 1954 had not been met, the learned judge ought to have dismissed the respondent’s (Andipai) petition outright,” Nik Hashim said.

With this decision, Tan Sri Kurup who is also the Federal Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development said that the rule of law has prevailed and that he looked forward to concentrate on his work as the MP for Pensiangan and to help the people of Pensiangan out of their misery.

Well, folks, I said so in my previous post that the Federal Court would definitely allow his appeal. It has done just that. Now to all those who had dreamt of becoming the new MP for Pensiangan, barring any unforeseen circumstances, they may have to wait for another 4 years. Well, could it be earlier than that? No body has the crystal ball right now. I can only say that it is politics after all. In the meantime, let us allow Tan Sri Kurup to perform his duties peacefully and diligently as the duly elected MP in the interest of the people of Pensiangan.



When sense and sensibility no longer apply

"Emergency Meeting" under the raintree in PerakIt is rather unfortunate to witness the political impasse in Perak not showing any sign of concession from either party of the political divide. To some, the open-air so-called emergency assembly sitting under the raintree in Perak was so surreal that one couldn’t believe that it would ever happen in their lifetime. But that was what actually happened yesterday when the Perak Assembly Speaker, V Sivakumar called it to be held just about 100 meters from the locked Perak Darul Ridzuan building.

The Pakatan Rakyat “MB”, Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin referred to it as under the “doctrine of necessity” that the Perak state assembly should hold an “emergency session” under such circumstances and therefore, believed it to be valid.

On the other hand, while they were at it, the High Court in Perak was inundated by legal arguments from the counsels of Perak MB, Datuk Dr. Zambry Kadir for the Court to agree to issue out a restraining order against the Speaker from convening any legislative assembly meeting inclusive of the one held yesterday without the DYMM Sultan of Perak’s consent. Well, they got it indefinitely to the effect of deeming illegal the said meeting and any other future meetings called by the Speaker without the Sultan’s consent prompting BN lead counsel, Datuk Hafarizam Harun to suggest that ” a meeting under the tree will remain under the tree “.

Folks, whatever it is, to me, it is quite natural for any supporters of the parties involved to suggest that whatever measures taken by their leaders to resolve the constitutional crisis are valid and within the law and that the other parties’ action are seemingly not valid and unconstitutional. They seem to suggest that the law is on their side. Well folks, just hang in there for a moment. Since both parties have resorted to the Courts for a decision and further relief, it is apt that all parties especially the Opposition to restrain themselves from doing anything illegal which would contribute to further political instability and chaos in the country.

Then again, it just occured to me that had Anwar Ibrahim’s attempt to lure the 30 odd BN Members of Parliament to jump ship to the opposition last year been successful, would the opposition be so kind and generous now to say that what they did then was constitutionally and morally valid. I don’t think I can reconcile with their attitudes today. Surprise! surprise! surprise!

So, the question is why is it considered by the PR and their sympathisers as immoral and unconstitutional when the BN was able to get the 3 Perak PR assemblymen to cross over to them? Double standard on the part of PR? I would like to think so.

If the argument is that it becomes immoral and unconstitutional when either money or position is involved. Let me just say this, Please show hard evidence and hard evidence only to MACC. Merely a bare allegation is as good as no evidence at all. Hence, pending the High Court’s decision, sense and sensibility must prevail.


All ears on March 13th.

Whether the people of Pensiangan will have to go to the poll in a by-election will finally be known on the 13th of March 2009. Folks, in case you missed the newspapers this morning, it has been confirmed by George Aluda, one of Tan Sri Kurup’s counsels that the Federal Court would be sitting in Kota Kinabalu on the 13th March 2009 to deliver their judgment. A final judgment and non-appealable for that matter.

If the appeal were allowed, it would be time for Tan Sri Kurup to really concentrate on his job as the Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development and hopely, with God’s blessing, a much needed infrastructure development could be efficiently implemented in Pensiangan.

Otherwise, any other decision would definitely cause unusual hardship to the people of Pensiangan but then again, I guess they are ready for any eventuality come rain or shine.


Rizalman Abdullah.. Is it a joke?

Datuk Rizalman Abdullah in 2003

Datuk Rizalman Abdullah in 2003

A blast from the past. I am of course referring to Datuk Rizalman Abdullah’s comical attempt to bulldoze a come back to Pensiangan after failing to retain his hold as Tenom UMNO chief recently. There is no doubt in my mind that he comes from Kg. Sinulihan Baru, Sook but lest we forget, it was he who abandoned Pensiangan about 18 years ago when he chose to helm the Tenom UMNO division and thereafter, became a one-term Member of Parliament for Tenom in the 1999 General Election.

Now that he had lost the Tenom UMNO Divisional chief post to YB Datuk Rubin Balang, in his final dash for a political survival, he suddenly remembers the 8000+ UMNO members in Pensiangan whom he had long abandoned. I don’t think any sane UMNO members would appreciate such act of treachery.

Folks, if one were to read and digest his press statement today as published in the New Sabah Times, he seems to forget that he is not making any political sense at all. While he is seen to be proposing the names of Datuk Ghani Yassin, the current Pensiangan UMNO chief and/or his deputy, Ahuar Rasam as being the most suitable UMNO candidate to stand as a BN candidate in Pensiangan, he, on the other hand, in the same breath, was also offering himself to stand in Pensiangan on behalf of any BN component party being nominated to stand or otherwise, in a veiled threat, he would stand as an Independent. So which is which? I thought he was being self-contradictory and making a joke of himself. Folks! you be the judge.

I sincerely think this particular politican has gone bonkers! Honestly speaking, he may have several pockets of grassroot support in Sook but definitely, not in Nabawan. Further, I was made to understand by a very prominent local politican in Keningau that when a large section of Sook was once part of the Tenom Parliamentary constituency, he made a lot of unfulfilled political promises in 1999 including the donation of a cow for every villages. When asked for after the election, he merely shrugged off his shoulder and uttered the words “itu politik bah” . Hence, in brief, I don’t think he is the so-called “saviour” for BN nor could he be a successful Independent. He is a politican past his prime. In his quest for a candidacy, he has, along the way, stepped on the feet of Datuk Ghani Yassin, Ahuar Rasam and several other UMNO leaders in Pensiangan. No doubt, he may have also hurt the feeling of fellow BN component parties by his action and tirade as published in the media for the past two days.

I honestly believe the Federal and State BN leadership would not even think or attempt to temper with the present quota that has stood the test of time. Any attempt to temper with the present arrangment would seriously jeopardise the existing harmony prevailing in BN. The dacing will otherwise, be seen as tilting towards destruction. Folks! Believe me.

But then again, all this diatribe will remain as one and one only, a diatribe, if and when the Federal Court ruled to set aside the Election Court’s decision in favour of the PBRS president, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup. Period.


The long wait continues….

A confident Tan Sri Kurup with his lead counsel, Firoz Hussien and PBRS supporters yesterday

A confident Tan Sri Kurup with his lead counsel, Firoz Hussien and PBRS supporters yesterday

To many, yesterday was just another day but to all PBRS members and political analysts alike, it was supposed to be the “Judgment Day” in the political life of one of Sabah’s much celeberated local politicans, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, the PBRS president, current MP for Pensiangan and the Federal Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development.

It never happened. Instead, the Federal Court comprising of the Appeal Court President Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff sitting with the Chief Justice of Malaya Datuk Arifin Zakaria and Federal Court judge Datuk Nik Hashim Abd Rahman said from the bench after hearing submissions from Tan Sri Kurup’s senior counsel, Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin, SFC Azizah Nawawi acting as an intevenor for the Attorney General and the Respondent’s counsel, Haji Ansari Abdullah that their decision was reserved until the next date to be fixed.

However, the reserved decision didnot dampen the joyful spirit of many PBRS members who attended the appeal hearing before the Federal Court in Kota Kinabalu. They emerged out together with Tan Sri Kurup from the Court, smiling and waving to the public to show that everything was fine in the Appeal and that they expected the decision would be in Tan Sri Kurup’s favour.

I am not going to talk about what had transpired following the submissions made by Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin, SFC Azizah Nawawi and the Respondent’s counsel, Haji Ansari Abdullah as to discuss it in detail would be tantamount to subjudice but suffice to say that it is more probable than not that Tan Sri Kurup will succeed in his appeal to reverse the Election Court decision that declared his election unopposed for the Pensiangan seat as null and void on the 8th September 2008.

In fact, a local lawyer, Justinus Baharum, confidently put the ratio of Tan Sri Kurup’s winning his appeal at 70-30. For others, the prediction was as high as between 90% to 95%. Yes. It was a very good day indeed for Tan Sri Kurup.


Overwhelming support !!

A large section of community leaders from P182 Pensiangan. A courtesy of Pensianganpress

A large section of community leaders from P182 Pensiangan. A courtesy picture from Pensianganpress

When I stepped into the banquet room at the lower ground of the Keningau Perkasa Hotel yesterday morning, there were only a few remaining chairs left at the front row of the room. The atmosphere was full of excitement though unruffled. I could sense that something very important was about to be unveiled by the PBRS president to some 250 community leaders from P182 Pensiangan comprising of the District Chief, Native Chiefs, Assistant Native Chiefs, Village Heads, JKKK Chairmen, PBRS Divisional Committee Members, Youth and Wanita Divisional Committee Members of N37 Sook and N38 Nabawan.

It was indeed a very important speech. The President took it into his stride in explaining the reasons why he had to go public in his defence of several unfounded allegations by the opposition parties and to some extent, a couple of individuals in BN itself.

He could not fathom the allegation of no infrastructure development in Sook during his tenure as an Assemblyman for what was then N41 Sook. To enlighten the community leaders, he took pain in bringing them down memory lane to 1985 when he won Sook for the first time as an assemblyman. Sook was then a very underdeveloped constituency. There was no sealed road from Keningau to Sook. There was no electricity. There was no clean water supply in most parts of Sook. There was no systematic government administrative office to cater for the need of the people. There was not even conducive primary schools nor was there a Government secondary schools and lastly, as a consolation, there were only makeshift tuckshops then in what is now called Pekan Sook or Sook Sub-District.

As compared to today, he showed to those present that there is now a sealed road from Keningau to Sook and Nabawan. There is electricity supply to most parts of Sook and that as he spoke, electrical posts were being delivered and erected in Kg. Lanas, Sook and that the BN Government has already approved the sealing of the exsisting Sook – Sinua gravel road and the Ansip – Dalit gravel road in the RM9. There are also many primary schools built in Sook as well as two Government Secondary Schools respectively in Pekan Sook and in Tulid and finally, he stressed that clean water supply in Sook will be a thing of the past once they are implemented in several areas of Sook in RM9 and RM10 respectively. He also pointed out that, Pekan Sook is now a subdistrict with an Assistant District Officer helming the administration of the area and that there are now two rows of concrete shophouses mostly operated by the natives of Sook.

With this unblemished record of development, he wondered why the people of Sook could easily be cheated and influenced by the opposition parties’ allegation about of no development in Sook in all the years he was their assemblyman and that as their current Member of Parliament, he could provide much more development not only in Sook but in Nabawan as well.

However, when he spoke about the current hot issue of a Murut candidate that need to be nominated to contest in Pensiangan, he talked at length about the sensitivity of the matter. To him, when he chose his protege, YB Datuk Ellron Angin, a Murut, to be the BN candidate of Sook in the last general election, he had not, at all material times, considered the race factor. Instead, it was his loyalty, diligence and commitment to the party that swayed in his favour.

After he ended his speech, there was an eruption of applause before he made an exit and thereafter, several calls for a resolution to nominate him as the Pensiangan BN candidate should there be a by-election.

True enough. When a resolution was called, there was an overwhelming and unanimous support for Tan Sri Kurup to be nominated as the BN candidate should a by-election is held in Pensiangan.

Unanimous support for Tan Sri Kurup as the BN Candidate. Courtesy of Pensianganpress

Unanimous support for Tan Sri Kurup as the BN Candidate. Courtesy of Pensianganpress

As a politician, I am especially inspired by the speech. To me, there are so much to be learnt from this particular man. One thing I truly learned from YB Datuk Ellron Angin’s political experience is that in politics one must be truly patience and posseses unquestionable loyalty to the Boss and the party.


Faith will move mountains



As the saying goes “Faith will move mountains”. Likewise, the people’s faith in the BN government in the interior of Sabah is of the same degree and is, I believe, immensely powerful. Nevermind the rhetoric, nevermind the promises, nevermind the political discourse, nevermind the polemic, the people in Pensiangan who are mostly far from the madding crowd, essentially, are BN supporters except during a period of about 12 years after PBS left the BN in 1990.


But their political realignment began to emerge from the doldrums when PBS rejoined the BN on the 23rd January 2002 wherein at that time the Pensiangan Parlimentary seat was held by PBS president, Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan. From thereon, the people of Pensiangan had returned the seat to BN in the 11th General Election in 2004 and again in the 12th General Election in 2008 where the PBRS president, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup won unopposed whose win however, had since been declared null and void by the Election Court on the 8th September 2008.

With the opposition parties’ win from a back to back by-elections in Permatang Pauh and Kuala Terengganu, one must be spared the embarrasment if he were to predict wrongly that Pensiangan would be another easy kill for the opposition parties should there be a by-election.

Whatever it is, faith is immensely powerful. The political scenario in both Permatang Pauh and Kuala Terengganu is very different from Pensiangan. Infrastructure development did not seem to be the top criterion for them. Hence, they could afford to ignore BN’s battle cry of more funds for development as opposed to the opposition parties’ smear campaign which among others were allegation of rampant corruption in high places and BN leaders especially the candidate were not people-friendly.

But the question is, would the people of Pensiangan be able to afford voting for the opposition in lieu of infrastructure development? Although, rumour has it that they may forego development in preference of a change in their parliamentary leadership. But, I don’t think so. Pensiangan is lacking so much in development that to vote for the opposition will only bring them down further below the poverty line as at the moment, the opposition is not capable to do so as they are neither the Federal or state Government nor are they very close to forming one. To hand in Pensiangan on a plate to the opposition will not make much of a difference to the overall governance of the country. Instead, the people themselves will have to suffer as a consequence because what they will receive in return from the opposition is merely lip service.

As I see it, the people must not be too excited in wanting change lest it will lead them to making hasty and irresponsible decision. A decision which they may have to regret for a very long time as once the die is cast, there is no turning back. As I have mentioned earlier in my previous post, when we are faced with a choice in a difficult or fearful situation there is an old cliche that decribes what we tend to do i.e. we choose “the devil we know” over “the devil we don’t know”. Yes we choose the comfort and security we have now and what other good things promised to us over the unknown future.

I have faith and I believe the people of Pensiangan have it too that come the Pensiangan by-election (if at all there is one) the people will support and vote BN-PBRS in a big way.


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