PRESS STATEMENT: Sabahans see end to simmering ‘constitutional crisis’ on 7-11

Posted: November 1, 2018 in Daniel John Jambun, Musa Aman, North Borneo, Sabah, Sabah Politics, Sabah State Assembly GE13, Shafie Apdal
Tags: , , ,

PRESS STATEMENT

Sabahans see end to simmering ‘constitutional crisis’ on 7-11

An eerie calm has descended on Kota Kinabalu in the run-up to 7-11, Nov 7, the day that Judge Yew Jen Kie from Sarawak will rule on whether the appointment of Shafie Apdal as Chief Minister on 12 May 2018 was constitutional or otherwise.

Musa Aman was earlier appointed, on May 10 in the wake of GE14 on May 9, as Chief Minister. Musa’s Barisan Nasional (BN) secured 29 seats, the majority under one symbol, in compliance with the Sabah Constitution.

Six defections from BN to the other side precipated the constitutional crisis which has been simmering since May 12. Shafie’s seats which can be counted under his Parti Warisan symbol remain at 21, less than the 23 seats left with Musa on May 12.

Shafie claims he has crossed the simple majority mark in the 60-seat state assembly under a coalition of parties viz. DAP, PKR and Upko with Warisan.

However, Musa still has the majority under the Sabah Constitution which stipulates the Chief Minister must have the most and/or largest number of seats under a registered political party i.e. one symbol.

The consensus in the court of public opinion sees Musa returning as Chief Minister to head a minority gov’t.

The public debate has come around to the realisation that the Sabah Constitution mandates this unique situation. It has no provision which calls for a simple or absolute majority to be Chief Minister.

The Shafie camp has been left clutching at straws.

They believe the judge can pull a “magical rabbit” from the hat in their favour.

The “magical rabbit” the judge can pull from the hat on Nov 7 would be to say that “it cannot be the intention of the state assembly to deny the formation of coalition gov’t in the 2nd instance, i.e. May 12, when the gov’t in the 1st instance, i.e. May 10, was ‘challenged’ by defections”.

If so, such a ruling would be fundamentally flawed, riddled with errors in facts, and errors in law.

True, it cannot be the intention of the state assembly to prevent/discourage the formation of coalition gov’t.

However, having said that, the main party in the coalition gov’t must still have majority as defined by the Sabah Constitution.

If coalition gov’t arises, the party in the first instance, i.e. May 10, can put together such a gov’t, if not go to the state assembly as a minority gov’t.

Minority gov’t is lawful.

It has to depend on independent lawmakers and/or rebel lawmakers to see the passage of gov’t Bills in the state assembly.

Not surprisingly, the public debate on May 12 has come full circle indeed. The court of public opinion expects Musa to be restored as Chief Minister on Nov 7.

Daniel John Jambun

Human Rights Advocate

Tel: 010 878 6993

President

Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (BoPiMaFo)

Thurs 1 Nov 2018

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo-Malaysia

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