KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 – BN chairperson Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has slammed the marching orders given to Cameron Highlands MP C Sivarraajh from the Dewan Rakyat, earlier today.
In a statement this evening, Zahid said that the MIC vice-president had every right to be in the house since the 14-day period given to him to appeal against a court ruling that declared his seat vacant following corrupt practices was still valid.
“I, as the BN chairperson, take seriously the order for Cameron Highlands MP C Sivarraajh to leave the Dewan Rakyat as it goes against Article 50 of the Federal Constitution.
“This is because the declaration that the Cameron Highlands seat win was null and void is still being appealed, and he (Sivarraajh) is still a valid MP.
“There is no reason for Sivarraajh to be asked to leave based on the pressure by Jelutong MP RSN Rayer without parliamentary provisions being taken into account,” said Zahid, who is also Umno president.
According to Article 50 of the constitution, if a member of either House of Parliament is disqualified, his seat shall become vacant.
Earlier today, Dewan Rakyat speaker Mohamad Ariff Mohd Yusof asked Sivarraajh to leave the House pending clarification on whether the Election Court had issued a stay order on its declaration that the Cameron Highlands seat was vacant until the appeal process is concluded.
Last Friday, the Election Court in Kuala Lumpur declared the Cameron Highlands parliament seat vacant and ordered for a re-election.
Justice Azizah Nawawi said DAP candidate M Manogaran proved that there were corrupt practices which led to BN candidate Sivarraajh winning the seat in the May 9 general election.
Zahid stressed that the 14-day appeal period, which Sivarraajh was entitled to, was not yet over.
“The candidate can file an appeal notice within 14 days from the date of the decision as stipulated under Section 36A(2) of the Election Offences Act 1954.
“Section 36C of the same Act says that the election judge’s decision is only enforceable if there is no appeal filed in the 14 days after the date of the decision.
“Therefore, the declaration that his (Sivarraajh’s) win in Cameron Highlands is null and void, is not linked to his presence in the Dewan Rakyat as he will file an appeal within 14 days,” said Zahid.
“According to Article 50 of the Federal Constitution, the Cameron Highlands parliament seat cannot be vacated until the election judge secures a ruling of his appeal at the Federal Court.
“The Dewan Rakyat Speaker should allow Sivarraajh to attend parliamentary proceedings as stipulated under election rules,” he added.
Meanwhile, electoral watchdog Bersih urged both Sivarraajh and Pahang menteri besar Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail to be prosecuted following the court ruling that found corrupt practices had contributed to Sivarraajh’s win of the parliamentary seat.