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Bung’s allegation on Hajiji has no merit - Masidi

7 January 2023

By Wartawan Nabalu News

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) liaison committee chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar’s allegation that Datuk Seri Haji Hajiji Bin Haji Noor has no right of standing to be Sabah’s Chief Minister has no merit, said Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) Secretary General, Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.

Masidi in a statement today said that during the 2020 General Election (GE15), no single political party won more than 50 per cent of the 73 seats contested.

“Therefore, following the High Court and Court of Appeal’s interpretation of Article 6(7), the Tuan Yang Terutama (TYT) first observed that no single political party won more than 50 per cent of the DUN seats and thus correctly disregarded Article 6(7) as inapplicable.

“The TYT then properly and correctly exercised his powers under Article 6(3) and appointed Hajiji as the Chief Minister.

“Therefore, Hajiji was constitutionally and legitimately sworn in as Chief Minister in accordance with the law and the democratic mandate of the people of Sabah,” he said.

Masidi was responding to the media statement by Bung which attempts to cast doubt and confusion on the legitimacy of Hajiji.

It was stated that Hajiji was not qualified to be Chief Minister under Article 6(7) of the Constitution of the State of Sabah.

“Article 6(7) reads: For the purpose of Clause (3) of this Article, where a political party has won a majority of the elected seats of the Legislative Assembly in a general election, the leader of such political party, who is a member of the Legislative Assembly, shall be the member of the Legislative Assembly who is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Assembly.

“Following a State General Election, the TYT will choose a member of the Assembly whom he thinks shall command the confidence of a majority of the members of the Assembly: Article 6(3). Where a political party wins a majority of the seats in the Assembly (the ‘DUN’) the leader of that party is presumed to command the majority: Article 6(7).

“A ‘majority’ for the purposes of Article 6(7) means more than 50 per cent of the seats in the DUN,” said Masidi.

He noted that this definition of ‘majority’ was made clear by the High Court in Tan Sri Musa Aman v Tun Juhar & Anor [2019] 10 MLJ 329 where at page 345 in paragraphs [28] and [29] High Court Judge Datuk Yew Jen Kie stated that ‘majority’ does not mean ‘the most seats’ but greater than 50 per cent of the seats in the assembly.

“Datuk Yew Jen Kie went on to say that Article 6(7) will not apply unless a political party manages to win more than 50 per cent of the DUN seats following a State election which was not the case in 2018. In 2018 no single party won more than 50 per cent of the DUN seats and therefore Article 6(7) of the Sabah Constitution was not applicable.

“The Court of Appeal upheld Datuk Yew Jen Kie’s verdict in Tan Sri Musa Aman v Tun Juhar and Anor [2020] 3 MLJ 49 at page 56, paragraph [17],” said Masidi.

Masidi asserted that Hajiji and all former PPBM assemblymen having left PPBM in December 2022 are all direct members of GRS) and that there are more than enough majority assemblyman and is the largest political party in the Sabah Legislative Assembly.

“It shall also be observed that the Constitution of Sabah is designed to promote certainty and political stability in the state.

“It is fundamental to Sabah’s constitutional order that the TYT is not dragged into political schemes, disputes or power struggles. I hope that certain political leaders observe this and show the TYT and his office the respect it deserves.

“Therefore, the recent practice of bringing signed statutory declarations to the Istana as evidence of the confidence of assemblymen in the government is undesirable and should be discouraged,” he added.


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