The 14th General Election. At least six Pakatan Harapan candidates were disqualified even before they could begin their 14th general election battle. The most high-profile disqualification was PKR vice-president Tian Chua in Batu, who was the parliamentary constituency’s incumbent for 10 years. He was disqualified due to a RM2,000 fine imposed on him last month although a similar fine in 2010 did not get him disqualified from contesting in the last general election. In the Johor state seat of Bukit Pasir, Bersatu’s candidate Pizi Jihat’s nomination papers were rejected by the returning officer. He was disqualified on the grounds of being bankrupt.
Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin said Pizi had already settled his bankruptcy prior to being nominated, and had brought proof with him today. “Among the documents he handed to the returning officer was a search on the Insolvency Department’s website to show that he is not bankrupt. “But (the returning officer) said the latest cheque showed he was bankrupt, which is why I’m puzzled as to which is true,” Muhyiddin told reporters. He said the party will consult with their lawyers on the next step. The same fate befell Bersatu’s Yaakob Osman for the Penang state seat of Penaga. However, Yaakob refuted this, claiming that he had already ran a check which did not show he is a bankrupt. “The election commission has said that there is data that I am bankrupt. We did a cheque last week and yesterday as well. “There were no issues and I have not been summoned by anyone or declared bankrupt. The election commission has decided, nothing can be done,” he was quoted as saying by The Star Online. Barisan Nasional wins Rantau unopposed.
In Kelantan, PKR candidates in both the state seats of Tawang and Kuala Balah were disqualified. PKR’s Mohd Azihan Che Seman was disqualified in Tawang on grounds that his identity card address was not in Kelantan, which is a prerequisite to contest in the state seat there. PKR’s Mohd Hafidz Rizal Amran was disqualified in Kuala Balah on grounds of being bankrupt. He declined to comment when met. In the state seat of Rantau, PKR’s Dr S Streram was denied entry into the nomination centre on grounds that he did not bring his Election Commission (EC) pass and was only let into the nomination centre three minutes after the deadline. This led to the EC to declare the incumbent, caretaker Negeri Sembilan menteri besar Mohamad Hasan the winner of the seat unopposed. Meanwhile, PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli, in a statement, accused the returning officer handling the state seat of Rantau of deliberately delaying the party’s candidate Streram. “I was informed by Harapan representatives in the hall that the Negeri Sembilan Election Commission director had instructed the returning officer to allow Streram in to submit his nomination paper as early as 9.30am.
“However, the returning officer kept delaying before letting him at 10.03am and then rejected the nomination,” he alleged. It is noteworthy that Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) Jenice Lee, who was to submit her nomination papers for the state seat of Teratai and parliamentary seat of Pandan, also faced a similar issue but was let in within minutes. She managed to field her candidacy for both seats. Meanwhile, aside Harapan, a PAS candidate also ran out of luck. According to Utusan Malaysia, PAS Subang Jaya candidate Mohamad Badri Abdul Rahman was also disqualified on grounds of being bankrupt.
Returning officer Noraini Roslan reportedly announced that the Subang Jaya seat would see a three-cornered fight between Barisan Nasional’s Chong Ah Wat, PKR’s Michelle Ng and Independent candidate Toh Sin Wah.