Warisan’s Liew defends Sabah governor after accusation of power abuse

Warisan chairman Liew Vui Keong (left) says the governor has the discretion to dissolve the state assembly

PETALING JAYA: Warisan chairman Liew Vui Keong has come to the defence of Sabah Governor Juhar Mahiruddin after an NGO filed a Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) report against him for dissolving the state assembly.

Liew said Article 7(1) of Sabah’s constitution allows the chief minister to request the governor to dissolve the state assembly if he ceased to command the majority support, adding that Article 21(2) also gave the governor discretion on the matter.

“The word ‘may’ here entails legal effect that the governor has a discretion as to whether he wishes to accede to the chief minister’s request to dissolve the assembly.

“In simple words, the choice is the governor’s whether the assembly should be dissolved. This discretion of the governor is also absolute and cannot be questioned in any court.

“The entire process of dissolution was in line with the Sabah State Constitution and therewith constitutional. The question of misuse of power is rubbish and non-existent as affirmed by case law,” he said in a statement today.

He called on those who were raising a fuss over the dissolution to move on, saying the law was clear and that the governor’s decision was legal and constitutional.

Earlier today, Sabah-based political group Gerakan Kuasa Rakyat Malaysia lodged a report with the MACC, accusing the Sabah head of state of abusing his power in dissolving the state assembly.

It said Juhar should have met with all the assemblymen before dissolving the assembly as Chief Minister Shafie Apdal no longer commanded a majority.