Posts Tagged ‘Constitutional Crisis’


LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Sarawak judge Yew Jen Kie’s 7-11 ruling allegedly misinterpreted the Sabah Constitution, denied the role of the state assembly, interfered in its prerogative and discretionary powers, and allowed frogs with statutory declarations (SDs) to decide on formation of government together with the Governor.

That’s the consensus in the court of public opinion.

If SDs can be considered, the judge failed to note that a reasonable time did not elapse between May 10 and May 12 when the frogs claimed to have lost confidence in Musa Aman.

The court should have said it won’t be party to an “illegality” and/or what reeked of “fraudulent” practices.

The SDs, she should have said, were tainted with all the elements of a conspiracy to overthrow a democratically-elected and lawfully established gov’t.

The courts generally look at whether it would be safe or otherwise to accept certain positions advocated by the parties in conflict.

In the case of the SDs by the frogs, it was certainly not safe for the court to accept them.

The Governor also should not have accepted them. Instead, he should have advised them to make their case at the state assembly, the right forum.

Rule BY Law is not Rule OF Law.

Rule OF Law basis of the Constitution.

The judge from Sarawak will be subject to scrutiny in the superior courts for the 7-11 ruling.

The Sabah Constitution must be upheld.

The judiciary should not interfere in the legislature.

The Governor should stay above the fray.

If the Governor had pointed the frogs after May 10 in the direction of the state assembly, there would be no 7-11. It’s besides the point that the state assembly was not in session.

The Governor can decide, in the wake of 7-11, whether to entertain frogs armed with SDs.

In future, he can be counted on to close the istana gates, and point the SD frogs in the direction of the state assembly.

7-11 is the last time the frogs can play their SD trick.

Rule of Law, basis of the Constitution, would be upheld.

If another group of frogs turn up tomorrow at the istana, armed with SDs, they won’t be entertained despite the 7-11 ruling.

The Governor will say, “I have discretionary powers mah!”

So, the 7-11 ruling is useless.

The SD Frogs would have to go to court to force the Governor to accept their self-serving and fraudulent claims. The superior courts would have to plug this loophole and restore the sanctity of the Sabah Constitution.

Daniel John Jambun

Human Rights Advocate

Tel: 010 878 6993

President

Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (BoPiMaFo)

Sun 11 Nov 2018

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo-Malaysia


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(Dr Jeffrey Kitingan of STAR Sabah & Wilfred Tanggau of UPKO)

Kota Kinabalu, Sat 3 Nov 2018

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Sabah may see ‘shift’ in political allegiances

Speculation is rife in Kota Kinabalu, in the run-up to Nov 7, that several state assemblypersons may ditch the state gov’t soon to sit as “independents” in the state assembly.

It was not immediately clear from talk in the social media on whether the “shift” would take place before or after Nov 7.

Nov 7 is the day the High Court would decide on the lawful chief minister of Sabah. Umno Sabah Chief Musa Aman was sworn in as the head of gov’t on May 10. Forty eight hours later, the Governor swore in Parti Warisan Sabah president Shafie Apdal to replace the former.

According to the political grapevine, the “rebel” lawmakers have a long list of grievances which are yet to be addressed by the new administration.

“Don’t focus on Nov 7 too much,” said one post in a whatsApp group. “This has gone beyond Nov 7.”

“There are serious issues which are yet to be addressed.”

The “rebels” have claimed in private chat groups that it was premature at this juncture to flog the issues in public.

They are hoping against hope that the state gov’t will address the issues. If they are addressed, naturally there won’t be anyone taking an independent stand in the state assembly.

It has been learnt that some of the grievances of the “rebels” include the registration of “dubious” people for the issuance of late registration birth certificates and ICs, the state gov’t’s stand on a spate of fires that took place since mid-May in several squatter settlements, and land issues.

Other issues are appointments in the new administration, and the dismissals of village chiefs.

The “rebels” appear uncertain on how many of them would support the lawful Chief Minister declared on Nov 7. That appears to be a separate issue with the rebels.

All lawmakers have to search their conscience on the court’s declaration.

Perhaps they will cross the bridge when they come to it.

The circumstances under which the switch of chief ministers took place on May 12 remain somewhat murky. There are allegations of a conspiracy during the 48 hour period. Six nominated state assemblypersons, proposed by Musa, were also not sworn in.

Musa was not given the right to go to the state assembly to gauge his level of support. If he had been given the chance, it’s unlikely that any gov’t Bill would have been defeated.

It doesn’t happen.

If a gov’t Bill was defeated in the state assembly, it would be tantamount to a vote of no confidence in the chief minister.

The High Court is expected to shed light on Nov 7 on whether the defeat or otherwise of a gov’t Bill in the Sabah state assembly should be the “gold standard” to demonstrate the lack of confidence or otherwise in a sitting chief minister.

Amir Hussein Sulaiman (Tel: 0168406756)

A concerned citizen from Sarawak in the Land Below the Wind


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


PRESS STATEMENT

Shafie Apdal should respect ‘majority’ defined in Sabah Constitution

Beleaguered Chief Minister Shafie Apdal and his lawyers have been a bundle of contradictions in the court of public opinion on the issue of majority in the state assembly.

Briefly, they can be answered in simple terms:

Lawyer Douglas Lind for Shafie has been harping since the oral submission on Thurs 25 Oct 2018 that his client has the numbers with him.

He doesn’t talk about the majority defined in the Constitution.

Article 6(3) read together with Article 6(7) gives effect to the true meaning of majority in Article 6(3).

Numbers, according to Douglas, means Warisan 21 + Upko 5 + DAP 6 + PKR 2 = 34.

After May 12, the numbers were 34 + Umno 7= 41.

Had the Upko 5 joined Warisan as members before May 12, then Shafie would have had the majority as defined by the Sabah Constitution.

We assume the High Court would let the frogging by the Upko 5 to pass.

In fact, the correct interpretation of Article 6(7) eliminates and/or reduces party hopping as also intended by the repealed Article 18(2) (d).

The Sabah Constitution, in defining majority, talks about numbers under one symbol i.e. a registered political party, not coalition of parties.

The Umno 7 defected after May 12. Even if they have since joined Warisan, it cannot be counted.

On May 12, Shafie had only 21 lawmakers.

Musa Aman had 23 lawmakers with him. So, he had the majority i.e. more seats than Warisan and the largest number of seats.

Again, the definition of majority in the Sabah Constitution refers.

Musa just has to get the support of another 8 lawmakers to pass Bills in the state assembly or defeat any motion of no confidence.

Since Barisan Nasional (BN) is now down to 19, Musa has to get the support of another 12 lawmakers to pass Bills or defeat any motion of no confidence.

In any case, the Speaker can throw out any motion of no confidence.

Hopefully, the state assembly would not be dissolved before Nov 7. We just had GE14.

Article 6(7), inserted in 1990 by Enactment No. 5/1990, did not use the term absolute majority, in recognising that when more than two parties contest, none will secure an absolute majority in the state assembly.

Article 6(7) is a unique feature of the Sabah Constitution, and one absent in other state constitutions including Perak.

Majority, as per Article 6 (3), if read to mean 31 state assemblypersons out of 60, would be a grave constitutional error, as lawyer Sukumaran Vanugopal cautioned in the High Court on Thurs 25 Oct 2018.

Daniel John Jambun

Human Rights Advocate

Tel: 010 878 6993

President

Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (BoPiMaFo)

Sun 28 Oct 2018

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo-Malaysia


My reading is The Regent of Perak Raja Nazrin Shah will agree this morning at 9am when he meets the rightful Menteri Besar of Perak Dato’ Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin for the dissolution of the Perak state legislative assembly and to pave the way for a fresh state election.

This will be the most honorable thing to do. Raja Nazrin’s dad, The Sultan of Perak has after all invited much criticism over his handling of the state’s constitution crisis. Raja Nazrin’s agreeing to the dissolution of the state assembly would mean that the recent decision by His Highness the Sultan was erred. But never mind, this is a great opportunity to right a wrong. Raja Nazrin the son, could be the right person to undo the damages of the father, and Nazrin’s wise decision to dissolve the state assembly could be a nice face-saving move for the Palace.

Only a political decision can resolve this impasse and this is the inevitable conclusion and therefore the people should be allowed to decide. The solution lies with the people. They are the ones to decide.


Our Media will not publish these pictures. Mark my word! Hear Najib Tun Razak’s boys have instructed all newspapers not to publish pictures of Perak Speaker V Sivakumar violently dragged out of the Perak State Assembly.

See more here which is compliments from Malaysiakini.

Also see more banned footage’s of Speaker Sivakumar humiliated and dragged out of the assembly which we will not be able to see in any of our government control TV stations :



This is reported today by The Edge

Barisan Nasional (BN) acted too hastily in Perak and monarchs cannot remove elected heads of government.

On the eve of the continuance of Perak’s constitutional crisis, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said: “Under the Federal Constitution, as far as I know, very clearly states that the monarch cannot remove the prime minister.

He (the ruler) can refuse to appoint a prime minister but once appointed he cannot remove him until a vote of no confidence is taken.”

The former prime minister was however careful not to draw parallels with the Perak case.

“I think the laws (federal and state) apply to the state as well but if Perak is different, I stand corrected,” Mahathir told reporters at the Perdana Leadership Foundation today.

Mahathir also refused to speculate on the legality of Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir’s appointment as menteri besar of Perak, saying that the matter now lies with the courts.

But the 83-year-old said that BN should have been more careful in the Perak takeover and that the coalition had acted “hastily”.


I believe by this Federal court decision the court has set a precedent as it can now review whatever the Speaker says or do even though the Speaker’s power is paramount.

Anyway, the decision of the courts must be respected, but, has anything changed in the Perak State Assembly from this Federal court decision? No, nothing has changed guys. The Speaker’s powers is still intact and decisions are still his to call. Speaker V. Sivakumar is still the boss in the Assembly and he can still frustrate Zambry Kadir and Gang who have defied Perak State Assembly procedures with new charges for contempt of the Assembly.

As long as Speaker V Sivakumar conducts the State Assembly proceedings according to procedures he cannot be frustrated by Zambry & Gang as the Speaker remains the final interpreter.

So, NOTHING IS LOST as the Speaker is still V Sivakumar although Sivakumar has been denied his right to suspend Zambry & Gang.

Indeed the next State Assembly sitting will be evidence that the Perak State Constitution is still supreme in the state of Perak.


In a bid to oust the Menteri Besar of Terengganu Ahmad Said, 10 BN backbenchers boycotted the second day of the assembly sitting by not turning up at Terengganu state assembly sitting today.

Yesterday,  rumour was buzzing and spread like wildfire through SMSs’  and all over the internet saying that there was going to be a motion of no confidence on the Menteri Besar which would be tabled at state assembly sitting today.

This morning everything fizzled out and remained just rumours when the 10 assemblymen plotting against the Menteri Besar had chicken out last minute on the motion of no confidence and instead they just boycotted the assembly today.

Typical Umno style, talk one thing do another thing.

Anyway, we know that all is not well in Terenganu and a political storm is brewing there and it is a question of time before the Menteri Besar Ahmad Said is forced to step down.

In and another development, three BN assemblymen who were also party to the no confidence motion have reported that they allegedly received death threats via SMS. All three – Rosol Wahid (Ajil), Zakaria Ariffin (Paka) and Halim Jusoh (Pemaisuri) have lodged police reports.

If you remember, after the March 8th General Elections, the previous MB Idris Jusoh was also a victim of power play in the state and it was said that he too was not favoured by the palace.

So, this is not the first time a leadership struggle is taking place in Terengganu because the palace is not in favour of the CEO of the state.

This rebellion will only end if the present CEO is removed.


We are pleased to share with CPI readers the full text by Judge N. H. Chan of his legal commentary on the constitutional tussle.  We thank him for sharing it with us and our readers.

Dr. Lim Teck Ghee, Centre of Policy Initiatives

Full text by Judge N.H. Chan