Sabah palace rejects ‘malicious’ allegation of power abuse

Sabah head of state Juhar Mahiruddin was accused of abusing his power in dissolving the state assembly. (Bernama pic)

KOTA KINABALU: The Istana Negeri of Sabah has rejected an allegation by a non-governmental organisation that Sabah Yang Dipertua Negeri Juhar Mahiruddin had abused his power and had accepted an inducement in dissolving the state assembly.

The Sabah governor’s private secretary, Abinan Asli, said that in response to a complaint lodged by the chairman of Gerakan Kuasa Rakyat Malaysia Zulkarnain Mahdar with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday.

“The Istana Negeri strongly refutes the allegations made by Zulkarnain Mahdar. They are untrue, baseless and had malicious intent,” Abinan told a press conference at Istana Negeri here today.

Abinan explained that Juhar had never received 33 statutory declarations from state assemblymen, as claimed by Zulkarnain, before signing the declaration for the dissolution of the state assembly.

Furthermore, he said the palace never received any official or unofficial request from former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman to have a meeting with Juhar.

Abinan said the palace also never instructed the police to stop Musa and his entourage from entering the palace area on July 30 as the roadblock mounted by the police was meant to avoid untoward incidents.

On July 30, caretaker chief minister Shafie Apdal announced the dissolution of the state assembly to pave the way for a state election, which has to be held within 60 days, after obtaining the consent of the Sabah head of state.

The dissolution saw Musa leading a group of assemblymen to seek an audience with Juhar after claiming that he had secured simple majority support to form a new state government without having to go through a fresh state election.