Court to decide on Sabah CM’s post on Oct 25

Shafie Apdal’s appointment as chief minister is being challenged by Musa Aman. (Bernama pic)

KOTA KINABALU: The court will decide on former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman’s originating summons, which challenges the legality of Shafie Apdal’s appointment as chief minister, this Thursday.

The court had previously set Oct 26 to deliver the verdict but Shafie’s lead counsel Douglas Lind said they received a letter from the court last week stating that the date had been brought forward to Oct 25.

“However, there was no reason mentioned. All submissions pertaining to the case have been filed and only the decision is left now. It will be delivered that day at 2.30pm at the High Court,” he told FMT.

This was confirmed by Musa’s counsel Tengku Ahmad Tengku Fuad in a brief text message.

Shafie had previously failed in his bid to cancel the originating summons filed by Musa after it was struck out by the High Court here on Aug 24.

After the ruling, Lind said judge Yew Jen Kie decided that the originating summons merited full consideration.

Musa filed the originating summons on June 6, which allowed both parties to skip having to appear in court.

The summons named Sabah governor Juhar Mahiruddin and Shafie as the first and second defendants respectively.

The decision will be based on paperwork and submissions of documents, such as affidavits, and there will be no trial.

The former Sabah Umno chief had earlier dropped a writ of summons his lawyers submitted on May 17 and replaced it with the originating summons.

Meanwhile, Lind said the court would also decide on PBS’ Tamparuli assemblyman Jahid Jahim’s originating summons that sought to declare Shafie’s appointment as chief minister as ultra vires the state constitution, thus, making it unlawful, null and void.

Besides that, Jahid is also seeking a declaration that he is the rightful state local government and housing minister.

Jahid had submitted the originating summons on June 6, the same day he applied for an order to stop state speaker Syed Abbas Syed Ali and state assembly secretary Bernard Dalinting from holding, calling or convening any meeting, session or sitting of the assembly until Shafie’s position as chief minister has been decided by the court.

“But that injunction application was dismissed by the court,” Lind said.

In addition, Jahid is seeking to declare the appointment of ministers, assistant ministers and nominated assemblymen of the current government as unlawful, null and void.

Jahid, who is PBS information chief, was one of the Barisan Nasional leaders sworn-in as a state minister in Musa’s state Cabinet that lasted barely two days.

Musa was sworn-in by Juhar on May 10 after the BN clinched a simple majority of 31 seats in the 60-seat state assembly after Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku’s (STAR) two assemblymen threw their support behind the former ruling coalition.

However, two days later, Shafie was sworn-in as the chief minister following the defections of Umno and Upko leaders who pledged their support for the Warisan-Pakatan Harapan alliance.