‘Read up on election laws’

Asfia delivers his speech. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

MIRI: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) election workers are reminded to get themselves up to speed on election laws and not leave anything to chance.

PBB permanent chairman Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar said the fifth and final step in an election will be the election petition which can be used by both parties to challenge the results of an election.

“The judges in West Malaysia would often ignore such petition but our judges in Sabah and Sarawak are broad in their interpretation. The election petition can be used by us and the opposition,” he said.

Asfia said election candidates must “dot the i’s and cross the t’s” in terms of their nomination papers for it to not be called into question.

“If the nomination papers are wrong, the opposition can use the election petition and sue the candidate as the first defendant and the Election Commission (EC) as the second defendant.

“Even though there is no objection when the candidate’s nomination papers were received by EC, they can be sued under Article 118 of the Federal Constitution,” he said when speaking at the PBB mini convention in Miri on Saturday.

Asfia also urged each constituency contested by the party to have a designated lawyer who is able to dole out legal advice on the technical aspect of the election.

“Don’t appoint lawyers who are inexperienced. They should know about election law, Immigration Act and the issues of the campaign,” he said.

The State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker said from past experiences, Malayan-based opposition parties would often use Malayan party members to be the election, polling and counting agent in the Sarawak state election.

“This must be challenged according to Section 65, 66, and 67 of the Immigration Act as they (the Malayans) are entering Sarawak on a social pass and without the appropriate work permit to become an agent,” he said.

Asfia expressed hope that PBB, along with other parties in the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) coalition, will win more seats in the upcoming state election.

“This is not only to ensure continuous peace and harmony in the state, but also to make the Speaker’s job easier in maintaining control in the state legislature,” he said.