Court cases will be affected if Sabah Water Dept head no longer in service, says Yong

Sabah Water Department director Amarjit Singh.

KOTA KINABALU: Former chief minister Yong Teck Lee has questioned why court cases are still on-going if Amarjit Singh has been removed as the Sabah Water Department director.

Yong is also asking whether the Sabah Attorney-General’s Chambers is being kept in the dark about Amarjit’s status in the state public service.

The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president said certain media had reported on May 10 that Amarjit had been transferred out of the Water Department.

“If this is true, then his removal from the department would fundamentally affect the appeal of the Sabah government against the Kota Kinabalu High Court judgement of Oct 9 last year that declared that his appointment as director was illegal.

“The Sabah government is appealing against the judgement which means that the government maintains that Amarjit is the legal director of the Water Department.

“But if Amarjit has been transferred out, then the status of the government appeal to the Court of Appeal needs to be clarified. But the appeal is still going on till today,” Yong said  today.

Former chief minister Yong Teck Lee.

Amarjit had told FMT last week that he expected his contract to be terminated, about two years after the Warisan man was controversially appointed to the post.

He told FMT that someone had “verbally” told him that his two-year contract would be shortened.

Yong said the judicial review which he filed over the reappointment of Amarjit to the same post is also on-going.

If Amarjit is no longer the director, then this judicial review would be rendered academic, he added.

“Does the government, the chief minister and the state Cabinet not know that the official public service status of Amarjit has a fundamental bearing and effect on court cases affecting the government?

“There are serious legal implications involved.

“I remind the chief minister and the Sabah Cabinet that the office of the attorney-general is constituted or created by none other than the Sabah Constitution through Article 11(1),” Yong said.

He said the post is not created by an ordinary law or subsidiary legislation and thus the posts of the attorney-general and the Attorney-General’s Chambers have to be given utmost respect and recognition.

In October last year, the Kota Kinabalu High Court declared Amarjit’s appointment illegal saying it breached the state’s Water Supply Enactment 2003. This was in response to a suit by Yong and Tawau businessman Pang Thou Chung.

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