KOTA KINABALU: The High Court’s heavy reliance on the 2009 Perak menteri besar case in dismissing Musa Aman’s lawsuit gives the impression that Sabah is one of the 13 states and not having equal partner status, said PBS.
Its secretary-general Johnny Mositun said based on the ruling delivered by judge Yew Jen Kie yesterday, it appeared that the Sabah governor had similar powers to that of a sultan.
He stressed that this was not enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
“Sabah and Sarawak have different set of laws and differ from the states in West Malaysia. This is simply because Sabah and Sarawak are equal partners with that of the Federation of Malaya with special interests and rights.
“The judgement has completely ignored this by heavily relying on the Perak case,” he said in a statement here today.
Mositun said comparisons to the Perak menteri besar case was unacceptable, adding that the dispute over who is the rightful Sabah chief minister was a different matter.
“Although the court had relied on extraneous evidence of the statutory declarations of the six Barisan Nasional defectors, the issue of whether Musa or the chief minister serves at the pleasure of the Sabah governor was not really made clear.
“To me, the Perak constitution is not the same with our Sabah constitution as the appointment of the sultan is not done or appointed by the King or Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, whereas the Sabah governor is.
”Moreover, the facts and circumstances of the Perak case could be distinguished from our Sabah case.”
Yew, from Kuching, who threw out Musa’s bid to challenge the legality of Shafie Apdal’s appointment as the Sabah chief minister, had cited the Perak case in 2009 which returned BN to power in Perak following a controversial Federal Court judgement.
Yew said the Federal Court in Putrajaya had laid down the legal principles that there was no mandatory requirement for a motion of no confidence against a chief minister, before he could be considered as having lost the confidence of the majority of assemblymen.
“Despite the distinguishing facts and circumstances of the Perak case and that Perak is a constitutional monarchy, the legal principles enunciated by the Federal Court is applicable to the present dispute as both cases involved the same issue,” Yew said when explaining her decision.
Mositun believes Musa’s legal team has a good chance to win their appeal.
“Sabah’s case is simply that Musa had the majority and had formed the Cabinet, which was sanctioned by the Sabah governor.
“There was no issue about a vote of no confidence. But the governor went on to appoint another chief minister. That’s why the application filed in court was to declare Musa as the lawful chief minister according to our state constitution.
“The decision to appoint another chief minister had eroded the true spirit of the state constitution and this is indeed sad for our Sabah history,” he said.
Musa had said he would appeal the High Court’s decision to reject his application to declare him as the rightful Sabah chief minister.
The former Sabah BN chief said the issues surrounding the constitutionality of Shafie’s appointment in May have not been fully resolved.
“This is about the sanctity and proper interpretation of Sabah’s constitution and the Tuan Yang Di-Pertua’s powers to appoint and dismiss a chief minister,” said Musa, referring to Juhar Mahiruddin, who had sworn in Shafie less than 48 hours after Musa’s swearing-in in the wake of the May 9 polls.