EC’s rejection of Peter Anthony’s nomination caused Tenom nomination centre riot

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The riot at the Dewan Antenom nomination centre in Tenom was due to supporters unhappy with the Election Commission’s (EC) decision to reject Datuk Peter Anthony’s nomination form.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Idris Abdullah said the incident saw about 300 supporters of the Parti Kesejahteraan Demokratik Sabah (KDM) trying to barge into the centre.

“The riot happened as the EC rejected Peter’s nomination form to contest for Tenom on the basis that he has an ongoing court case.

“The enforcement team, including the light strike force (LSF) and general operations force assisted by the People’s Volunteer Corps and Civil Defence personnel, took action to disperse them,” he said in a press conference here.

Idris said a discussion was held between police, Peter’s counsel and an EC officer, which arrived at a decision that those supporters should not act wildly and instead obey orders from the enforcement officers.

Later about 2pm, Peter, who is KDM president and former Melalap assemblyman, came out and asked his supporters to accept the EC’s decision.

“However, he has lodged a report as he was not satisfied with the rejection to contest for the parliamentary seat.”

On May 26, Peter was sentenced to three years’ jail and a fine of RM50,000, in default 15 months’ jail after he was found guilty of forging a letter for a Mechanical and Electrical Systems (M&E) maintenance work at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).

He obtained a stay of execution of the jail sentence pending an appeal at the High Court. However, the court ordered a RM50,000 fine to be paid on the day of the conviction.

During this general election, former Tenom member of parliament Noorita Sual, from Pakatan Harapan, will fight against Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Jamawi Jaafar, Warisan’s Ukim Buandi and two independent candidates — Riduan Rubin and Peggy Chaw Zhi Ting — for the Sabah interior seat.

In GE14, Noorita won the Tenom seat with a majority of 1,133 in a three-cornered fight.

Meanwhile, Peter claims ‘hidden hands’ are behind his Tenom candidacy rejection.

He claimed that the EC returning officer (RO) in charge of Tenom had already accepted his nomination and announced him as one of the six candidates but backtracked the decision later after receiving an objection from the commission’s headquarters.

“We have followed all the procedures required, and they (EC) have checked all our documents. Then they informed me that all my documents were in order and complete.

“After completing the checks and screening process, all candidates were asked to draw a number and the RO then made an announcement that six candidates will be contesting in Tenom.

Bernama

“We were then asked to head outside the hall for another announcement, but unfortunately, while we were heading, out the RO informed me that they received an objection from EC headquarters against my nomination,” he said.

According to Peter, who was formerly with Warisan before forming PKDM, he had told the RO that the time period for the objection against nominees was already over and he had already been accepted as a candidate.

“However, the officer informed me that Sabah EC has no issue with my nomination, only the headquarters,” he said.

On his criminal conviction in May, where the politician was found guilty of falsifying documents, sentenced to three years in jail, and fined RM50,000, Peter argued that he was still in the appeal process and thus can contest the election.

He said there was a stay order on his conviction, and thus not a convict yet, he claimed.