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Confusion and turmoil as Perak resignation crisis deepens - malaysiakini

Malaysiakini's report:

As Barisan Nasional and PKR brace themselves for possible by-elections in Perak, Malaysiakini learns there is a likelihood that the matter could be first referred to the courts instead of the ballot boxes.


pkr permatang pc 230808 perak exco jamaluddin and osmanAccording to lawyers, there are legal grounds to challenge the resignation letters submitted by the two PKR assemblypersons Jamaluddin Mat Radzi (Behrang) and Osman Jailu (Changkat Jering).

Under commercial law, lawyer Hasnal Rezua Merican said any pre-signed letter of resignation is questionable as it is illegal and morally wrong.

"A resignation letter cannot be made under duress. It can be considered as not genuine as the person may not have a true intention of resigning now. Furthermore, if a politician wishes to switch parties there is nothing hindering him from doing so.

"There is a 1991 case of Nordin Salleh vs Kelantan State Legislative Assembly where the then Lord President Eusoff Chin decided that an assemblyperson does not lose his or her seat if they switch party," he added.

No anti-hopping law poses a problem

Lawyer Baljit Singh Sidhu also agreed with Hasnal that the resignation letters submitted could also be challenged as the person might have a change of mind and decide to retract.

He said this problem exists because there is no anti-hopping law in the country.

"The alleged resignation letter cannot be absolute if the affected person claims that he had not handed it. It can then be argued that the resignation letters which they signed earlier were not absolute," he told Malaysiakini.

Asked to comment on Perak State Assembly speaker V Sivakumar handing the two resignation letters to the Election Commission, Baljit said the affected persons could file an application to quash the resignation letters.

Hasnal also agreed that the duo could file applications at the High Court to seek a declaration that they have not resigned.

Another lawyer, David Matthews said if the assemblypersons could prove that they were coerced into signing the letters, it would make the letters null and void.

He stressed that this was an important issue as it involved the credibility of elected representatives.

"The fact is that a resignation letter must be signed on their own free will. If there is evidence of coercion, it would be open for challenge.

"The person must prove in a court of law how the coercion took place," he added -