Election Court judges to preside over polls petitions next week


(The Star) – Petitions could be settled within a year if everything goes smoothly.

The case management of about 80 petitions filed over the general election results will begin next week.

Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria said 58 election petitions had been filed in the peninsula and about 20 in Sabah and Sarawak.

He said 13 High Court judges had been appointed as Election Court judges and each would preside over five cases to ensure no delays.

“During case management, parties will be called to determine the number of witnesses and dates that the lawyers are available as there should be no postponement or we will not be able to meet the time frame,” he said after he opened a seminar for Justices of Peace.

It was reported that the Chief Justice had given the assurance that the petitions could be settled within a year if everything goes smoothly.

He had said that judges selected to preside over the cases had been advised to dispose of the cases within six months or it would not go in line with the law, resulting in late decisions as there was still the appeal process which would take another six months.

The deadline to file an election petition ended on June 12.

In his speech, Arifin asked that Justices of Peace take on new approaches in reaching out to the public and widen their role to also educate the society on the rule of law, respect and loyalty to the king and country aside from the commendable social and welfare work.

“It is important that our multi-racial society, particularly the younger generation, have a good understanding on the rule of law as this will help ensure the safety and stability of the country.

“It is also important for them to know the Federal Constitution to better appreciate it and this is where Justices of Peace can play their part,” he added.