KOTA KINABALU, SABAH – Not About Power But Rule of Law and Sabah Constitution The court action taken by Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa is not about power struggle to be Chief Minister but about the respect and compliance on the Rule of Law and the Constitution of the State of Sabah. It is also necessary to enable the Court to determine & interprete the legal provisions in respect of powers of the TYT Yang DiPertua Negeri under the Constitution in the appointment of Chief Minister.
According to constitutional law experts including a former Sabah Attorney-General, Musa had a simple majority of 31 members when Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku’s (STAR) 2 members agreed to form a coalition government with Musa’s 29 members, when he was sworn in Chief Minister on the night of 10th May 2018.
Whatever that may be said of STAR amidst accusations of hopping or frogging, they had the freedom of association under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.
As the role of “kingmakers” to the 29 seats under Barisan Nasional and the 29 seats under the Warisan-Pakatan Harapan coalition, they were at liberty to choose which side to form the Sabah government. Either way, it would be a perfectly legitimate government with a simple majority of 31 seats.
Despite being the lawfully installed Chief Minister, moves to destabilize the democratically elected government by inducing lawmakers to jump to the other side is an abuse of the Rule of Law and a mockery of the process of democracy and a betrayal of the trust of the people who have voted them in.
The legal action filed by Musa is also an opportunity for the Court to determine once and for all the extent of powers of the TYT Yang DiPertua who is a constitutional head of State (& who acts on the advice of the Chief Minister and State Cabinet) in appointing another Chief Minister within days of having legally sworn in the first one.
Regardless of the outcome of the court action, it is all about the respect of the Rule of Law, the Sabah Constitution & the exercise of powers of the TYT Yang DiPertua Negeri after the installation of the Chief Minister and his Cabinet. The law should be allowed to take its course without any interference. Everyone should accept & respect the Court’s eventual verdict.
Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun,