Ahead of the 15th General Election (GE15), Barisan Nasional (BN) announced that Datuk Seri Jamal Yunos will be its candidate for the Sungai Besar parliamentary seat.
However, the decision was quickly met with an objection from incumbent Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, who claimed that Jamal does not qualify to stand in the polls as she had served him with a bankruptcy notice on 30 August.
In a protest letter to Election Commission (EC) chairperson Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Salleh, Kok said Jamal was liable for defaming her in 2017 when she accused her of misappropriating Yayasan Warisan Anak Selangor (Yawas) funds under the state government’s Skim Mesra Usia Emas (SMUE) initiative.
The court later ordered him to pay her RM300,000 in damages and RM50,000 in costs. However, he failed to settle the sum and Kok had on 18 September filed a bankruptcy notice to Jamal, stating that he owed her RM351,479.45.
“As of 4 November, Jamal has not settled the payment and my bankruptcy proceedings against him are ongoing. There is a possibility that he will be declared bankrupt as a result of the proceedings,” Kok said.
I’m not a bankrupt yet!
In response to Kok’s claim, Jamal Yunos denied that he was being issued a bankruptcy order that could disqualify him from contesting in the coming general election.
According to Bernama, Jamal said the case management will only be done on 30 November and that he is currently appealing against the high court’s order for him to pay RM300,000 as compensation and RM50,000 in costs to Kok for defaming her.
He then said that Kok’s insistence that the EC object to his nomination as a GE15 candidate was premature and wrongful, adding that it was a desperate move to disqualify him as a candidate.
“The facts are very clear, I have not been served with any bankruptcy order in line with the Insolvency Act 1967,” he said.
Article 48 of Federal Constitution
He believes that his eligibility as a candidate remains valid until a bankruptcy order was issued, as well as when all appeals have been disposed of by eligibility for nomination under Article 48 of the federal constitution.
During the nomination process, candidates will be screened by representatives from the police and the insolvency department.
According to Article 48(1) of the Federal Constitution, a person is qualified for membership of Parliament if one was an “undischarged bankrupt” or a convict that has served a sentence of more than one year or is fined more than RM2,000 and has not received a free pardon.