PRESS STATEMENT . . . REACTION
Human rights advocate wants ex-judge Sri Ram to clarify on Shafie Apdal, Musa Aman
Daniel John Jambun opines jury still not out on whether Shafie Apdal illegitimate CM on 12 May 2018
REACTION . . . Human rights advocate and Borneo rights activist Daniel John Jambun urged ex-Federal court judge Gopal Sri Ram to clarify whether he did tell a Malaya-based online news portal in recent days that Shafie Apdal was the legitimate Chief Minister of Sabah on 12 May 2018.
“Sri Ram was quoted as telling the portal on Tues 29 Mar that the 7 Nov 2018 High Court ruling on Shafie as rightful CM remains,” said Jambun who heads the UK-based Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (BoPiMaFo). “The story was taken down by the portal even before the contents could be shared.”
The people in Sabah in particular, he said, had a right to know, whether Shafie was rightfully appointed and/or whether Musa was unconstitutionally removed and ex-judge Sri Ram should have stressed this instead of telling the portal what he purportedly told it.
Jambun pointed out that in granting leave to Musa on Sept 1 last year, the Federal court said, “It is of paramount importance that issues relating to the constitutionality of the TYT’s exercise of power to remove a sitting Chief Minister must be decided once and for all by this Court. This is certainly not a case which, on first impression will inevitably fail if leave is granted”.
He noted that the Federal court listed the Constitutional questions to be determined and explained: “The questions of law raised by Tan Sri Musa are of grave constitutional importance and have far reaching implications not only for the State of Sabah but for the whole country and ought to be resolved once and for all by this Court, being the apex court, to provide certainty and cannot be left hanging.”
The people of Sabah have an inalienable right to know whether the removal of Tan Sri Musa as the validly appointed Chief Minister was done validly, lawfully and in accordance with the Constitution of Sabah, the highest law in the land below the wind, the Federal court explained further, he continued.
“As it is, there is no closure yet on the issue of whether Tan Sri Musa had been lawfully removed from office”, the Federal court added, said Jambun.
The media, he said, quoted Musa as saying in late March that he decided to drop his suit in the Federal court because he feels the current Sabah government is legitimate. “IMHO, that’s his opinion, “said Jambun. “Opinion is not law. Only the court can declare law.”
The BoPiMaFo Chief argued that Musa probably dropped his case in the Federal court to prevent Shafie from being seen as the rightful Chief Minister on Sept 26 following the snap state election last year.
In short, he stressed, Shafie as CM would be the net effect of the Federal court upholding the sanctity of the Sabah Constitution. “Also, by withdrawing the court case, the present state gov’t would not be financially burdened by the Shafie gov’t of 12 May 2018 being declared unconstitutional.”
“At stake was probably any number of commercial contracts reportedly being taken to court against the Shafie gov’t.”
Shafie, under Parti Warisan, took 29 seats or the largest number under one symbol in the state assembly on Sept 26. Allies PKR and Upko took two and one respectively under their symbol, and there were three Independents. Another 38 seats were taken by allies under three symbols: Perikatan Nasional (PN) 17, Barisan Nasional (BN) 14, and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) 7.
Three years of waiting has been wasted, lamented Jambun. “Now, we don’t know what will become of Musa’s Constitutional questions on Sabah in the Federal court.”
“Musa may have belatedly realised why Shafie did not dispute the Sept 26 appointment in court,” alleged Jambun. “Shafie was simply waiting for Musa’s arguments, since 12 May 2018, to gobble him up in court.”
The NGO Chief recalled that Musa had consistently maintained the position in public that the case in court was not about him or the CM’s post. “He accepted that he would not return as CM through the court,” recalled Jambun further.
Also, he added, Musa assured that the case was not about his purported long-running political enemity with arch rival Shafie, virtually derided as PTI (pendatang tanpa izin or illegal immigrant) in the run-up to GE14 and in the aftermath.
Musa solemnly swore, he reminded, that the case was all about “upholding the sanctity of the Sabah Constitution.
Briefly, he noted, the Definition of majority in the Sabah Constitution was not the simple Dictionary meaning where 51 for example was the majority out of 100. “The PBS gov’t (1985 to 1994), in its genius, provided for a situation where no symbol would get simple majority in the state assembly.”
In short, it provides for a minority Chief Minister to be sworn in, in the event that no leader of a political symbol in the election reached simple majority.
Daniel John Jambun
Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (BoPiMaFo)
Further details: +60108786993 (Daniel John Jambun)
Thurs 1 April 2021
Read further here . . .
Jambun: Musa Aman move in Federal court to thwart Shafie Apdal being ‘declared’ CM.
“Now, we don’t know what will become of Musa’s Constitutional questions on Sabah in the Federal court.”