Claims that plaintiffs cannot prove they voted him as their MP.
Azmin Ali says in his appeal to strike out a lawsuit by 10 voters from his Gombak constituency that the suit is doomed to fail because the plaintiffs cannot prove they voted him as their MP in the last general election (GE14).
Azmin argues that High Court judge Akhtar Tahir had failed to appreciate this fact as the ballot papers – the primary evidence – had been destroyed in accordance with the election laws to safeguard its secrecy.
The judge had failed to consider that the plaintiff’s case rested solely on the fact that they had voted for him, says Azmin, who is the international trade and industry minister, in his memorandum of appeal filed last October in the Court of Appeal to set aside Akhtar’s ruling.
In the court papers sighted by FMT, Azmin says the judge was also wrong to state that oral evidence could be considered from the 10 plaintiffs who allegedly voted for him.
He says the subject matter of dispute between him and the voters has nothing to do with misrepresentation but is over the election manifesto.
“Election pledges do not legally bind anyone and cannot be enforced as decided by the Court of Appeal in the State Government of Selangor & Anor v Murtini Kasman & Ors,” he adds.
Azmin says the judge had also failed to appreciate that he had the right to freedom of association as guaranteed under the Federal Constitution.
A case management will be held before a Court of Appeal deputy registrar on Jan 10 to decide on the appeal hearing date.
On June 30, Akhtar rejected Azmin’s application to strike out the suit against him over alleged misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duties.
Akhtar, in his written judgment, had said he could only determine whether Azmin had made “false representations” to garner voters’ support after a full trial. He said the court would make an assessment from witnesses’ testimonies presented before the court.
“This is a case which cannot be summarily disposed of or struck off,” he said in the judgment.
Akhtar had set June 7 to 10, 2022 to hear the case.
The voters claimed in their suit that Azmin represented himself to them as standing in the 2018 general election to oust Barisan Nasional (BN) and to “free Malaysia of corrupt officials”.
They said that during the election campaign, Azmin told Gombak voters to “vote for PKR to ensure a competent and stable government”.
“The representations were merely to deceive the voters to support and vote for him so (that) he could be an MP,” they said.
They said Azmin caused the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government in March 2020 and joined the Perikatan Nasional-led administration, which included BN, and persons Azmin himself had acknowledged were “credibly accused of corrupt practices”. – FMT