By Syed Jaymal ZahiidKUALA LUMPUR, April 28 — Defeated PKR candidate Datuk Zaid Ibrahim will file an election petition to declare the Hulu Selangor by-election as void, claiming the Election Commission was biased in the Sunday vote.
He also said he will sue Utusan Malaysia for calling him an “alcoholic”, the main personal attack in the eight-day campaign period.
“I’ve made a decision to file an election petition to declare the results as not valid. My legal team will file it soon,” Zaid told a press conference here today.
“The Election Commission must be seen to be impartial. My opinion is that they are extremely partial, and [we] will act against them,” he added, making his first public appearance after losing by a 1,725 majority to MIC information chief P. Kamalanathan.
The election petition will be filed to declare the results null and void because of alleged bribery.
Zaid will also be initiating legal proceedings against the EC for what he described as a breach of its constitutional and statutory duty to conduct free and fair elections.
“To me, the EC should be free and not take sides. That’s why our federal constitution stipulates that when the Agong appoints EC members, they must be able to give full confidence to the rakyat that they are impartial and independent. So, if this is what the constitution states, we hope the EC is fair and we want elections to be fair, free and impartial.
“If you fail, if there is a dereliction of duty in that, if you fail to exercise that duty, I think we have a case against them,” said the former minister.
According to a report by Chinese-language newspaper, Oriental Daily, the Barisan Nasional-led federal government had spent close to RM167 million in projects for Hulu Selangor.
The Malaysian Insider has separately estimated that BN had pledged and arranged for more than RM70 million in donations, projects and other aid for voters during the campaign
PR have cried foul over the pork-barrel spending by their rivals, accusing them of vote-buying and has blasted the EC for its inaction.
BN chairman and prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak dismissed the claims by saying the money was spent for the good of the people and not to buy votes.
Zaid then announced his plan to file a separate suit against Umno-owned daily, Utusan Malaysia.
“I will also take action against Utusan Malaysia for labelling me an ‘alcoholic’, Zaid said.
“Whatever I consume before it was no more than (Tun Dr) Mahathir (Mohamad) consumed or other Umno leaders had consumed. So you cannot call me ‘kaki botol’ (alcoholic) and spare the other Umno leaders,” said Zaid further in a swipe against the former premier who helped BN campaign during the by-election.
Dr Mahathir had called on Hulu Selangor voters to reject Zaid “because he could not perform as he would be drunk”.
The former Umno man said he will only sue the Malay daily for a token ringgit, in a move to show that the civil suit was done on principle and not cash-driven.
“I just put [the figure as] one dollar (ringgit). I don’t want the money. When I sued A. Kadir Jasin I never state the amount but if you defame me, I’ll sue.”
Zaid, a lawyer by profession, said his legal team will be making the preparations soon and the petition will be filed within two weeks time.