Saturday, February 23, 2008

Rush to have forms stamped

The Star

ALOR STAR:- Opposition candidates from Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan, which observe Friday as a weekly rest day, had to rush to neighbouring states to have the stamp duties on their nomination forms validated by district offices.

PAS information chief Mahfuz Omar said the Election Commission (EC) informed political parties of the new ruling only on Thursday, forcing PAS, PKR and DAP candidates to hurry to other states to get the job done before nomination day tomorrow.

“The commission should not impose last minute rulings that could jeopardise opposition candidates’ right to contest,” he said during press conference to announce the PAS candidates’ list for Kedah yesterday.

It was reported that candidates submitting their nomination papers must have the accompanying statutory declaration stamped, or risk having the papers rejected.

Mahfuz said it was clearly stated on the top right corner of the declaration form, Duti Setem Dikecualikan (Stamp duty exempted).

In Kuala Lumpur, lawyer Roger Tan, who is the Malaysian Bar Council’s Conveyancing Practice Committee chairman, said it was legally wrong to reject any nomination if the statutory declaration was not stamped immediately.

He said the Regulation 4(7) of the Election Regulation (Conduct of Election) 1981 only provided that the original copy of the statutory declaration must be submitted and did not say it had to be stamped.

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