KUALA LUMPUR: The appointment of three deputy chief ministers in Sabah does not contravene any provision of the state Constitution, constitutional law expert Associate Prof Dr Shamrahayu Abd Aziz said.
She said by convention, it is up to the Chief Minister to decide as to whether a deputy or deputies are required.
Shamrahayu said the state Constitution also does not mention any specific number for the deputy chief minister post.
“The Constitution only mentions the appointment of the Chief Minister. So, ministers or members of the state executive council, if according to party practice, are decided by the Chief Minister,” she said on the Ruang Bicara programme aired by Bernama TV last night that discussed the topic ‘The New Sabah Government 2020’.
Shamrahayu was responding to questions by programme host Sherkawi Jirim on whether the appointment of three deputy chief ministers was in accordance with the Sabah Constitution.
Elaborating further, Shamrahayu said when the Yang Dipertua Negeri appoints other ministers other than the Chief Minister, it is done on the advice of the Chief Minister.
“Perhaps, in legal aspects, there is nothing wrong, perhaps the political dynamics are such that it is more important in this context to name a few deputy chief Ministers to represent political parties.
“If we are to look at the current Federal Government, we do not have a deputy prime minister, but the Prime Minister has named senior minister from various political parties. I think the same applies and it does not contradict any provision of the Sabah Constitution,” she said.
Sabah Perikatan Nasional chairman and Sulaman assembyman Datuk Hajiji Noor was sworn in as Chief Minister before Sabah Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin at Istana Negeri here today.
Also taking their oath as deputy chief ministers were Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman and Lamag assemblyman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin, STAR president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan (Tambunan assemblyman) and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) vice-president Datuk Dr Joachim Gunsalam (Kundasang assemblyman).