Court found Shafie lost majority in state assembly, says lawyer

Lawyer Tengku Fuad Ahmad says Shafie Apdal’s choices under the Sabah constitution was to either resign or request a dissolution.

KOTA KINABALU: The lawyer representing the 33 Sabah assemblymen in the suit against the Sabah governor said the High Court here had found that Chief Minister Shafie Apdal had lost majority support in the Sabah State Legislative Assembly.

Tengku Fuad Ahmad said judicial commissioner Leonard David Shim had found this on his grounds when dismissing the judicial review application by the group against Sabah Governor Juhar Mahiruddin’s decision to dissolve the assembly.

“This is very good for us, at least in terms of this, is that the judge appeared to make a finding on his grounds of his decision that Shafie had actually lost the majority,” he told reporters at the Kota Kinabalu Court Complex here today.

“And (Shafie) had only two choices under Article 7(1) of the Sabah constitution, which is to resign or request a dissolution.”

Earlier today, the High Court here dismissed the judicial review application by the Sabah assemblymen against Juhar’s consent to dissolve the state assembly.

The group, led by former chief minister Musa Aman, filed the leave for judicial review on Aug 3, seeking an injunction to the dissolution of the assembly.

They also questioned the written request from Shafie, who is now caretaker chief minister, to Juhar for the dissolution of the assembly.

Shim had struck out the application on grounds that the governor’s actions were not justiciable in a court of law.

The applicants have filed documents to challenge this decision in the Court of Appeal.

Tengku Fuad said another positive outcome was that the court found the 33 assemblymen had the right to apply for leave on Juhar’s decision.

“The judge found that the 33 applicants have locus standi to bring about this judicial review – so that was very good.

“Unfortunately, where we disagree with the judge is the use of the word ‘advise’ and ‘request’.

“We will be taking this up to the Court of Appeal because in Sabah we do not hold the view that request and advice are the same thing.

“They might be the same thing in Perak or Kedah, or the Malayan states but in those states they have a Sultan. And in Sabah we have a governor who is not royalty.

“So my instructions were to appeal and the notice of appeal was filed by my office five minutes ago.”