PBS ready for any eventuality in Sabah CM appeal case

Parti Bersatu Sabah president Maximus Ongkili (third from right, in suit) launching the party’s Pergerakan Belia dan Beliawanis Bersatu (PBBB) in Penampang today.

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Sabah president Maximus Ongkili is looking forward to the appeal of former chief minister Musa Aman against the High Court ruling over the legitimacy of Shafie Apdal as the Sabah chief minister.

Speaking to reporters after launching the PBS congress today, Ongkili said there has been much speculation on the outcome of the case later this month.

“Musa can win or the state can win. But in any case, we have to be prepared for any eventuality,” he said.

The appeal is expected to be heard at the Kota Kinabalu court complex on Nov 28.

The Kota Kinabalu High Court had on Nov 7 last year struck out the former Sabah Umno chief’s originating summons seeking a declaration that the swearing-in of Shafie as chief minister by governor Juhar Mahiruddin was unconstitutional.

Judge Yew Jen Kie had, in her ruling, cited a 2009 case which returned Barisan Nasional (BN) to power in Perak following a controversial Federal Court judgment.

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.

Musa, who had named Juhar and Shafie as defendants, was initially sworn in as chief minister in a delayed ceremony a day after the May 9 elections, but defections by BN assemblymen tipped the state assembly majority in favour of the Warisan-Pakatan Harapan coalition.

Juhar later swore Shafie in as chief minister, but Musa refused to resign, saying Shafie’s appointment was unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, Ongkili has launched the party’s Pergerakan Belia dan Beliawanis Bersatu (PBBB), a youth movement for members aged 18 and above, in line with the country’s decision to lower the voting age from 21 to 18.

He said the movement is aimed at making an impact among the young and to help in attracting new blood into PBS.

“We want to welcome new blood into PBS.

“Being the oldest local party in Sabah, PBS has long been dubbed as an old party, but an experienced party with a proven track record of political contribution and governance.

“PBS is ‘home’ for everybody, because we are a multiracial political party and cater to the needs of the young and senior people.”

The movement has more than 1,000 members currently.

On the opposition bloc Gabungan Bersatu Sabah (GBS), Ongkili said this has taken a back seat for now as it has yet to be approved by the Registrar of Societies (RoS).

He said PBS was issued a warning letter by RoS for carrying out activities and making press statements under the banner earlier this year.

“We have submitted the registration application but so far there has been no word. We have to abide by the law and avoid confusion among the grassroots.

“But the next general election is still some time away and we are open to working with other parties in Sabah and Sarawak but with no formalities,” he said.

Ongkili said late last year that PBS, together with Sabah Umno, Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), had joined forces to form the alliance for the good of Sabah.

He said it was meant to promote self-reliance and was also aimed at fighting for Sabah’s full autonomy ,and to protect its rights in Malaysia as stipulated under the Malaysia Agreement 1963.