High Court Rules Shafie Apdal As Rightful Chief Minister Of Sabah

Shafie Apdal waves to Warisan supporters as he leaves the court after Musa Aman’s case was thrown.

KOTA KINABALU: The High Court here Wednesday ruled that the appointment of Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Mohd Shafie Apdal as the Chief Minister of Sabah is constitutional.

Judge Datuk Yew Jen Kie held that Musa had lost the confidence of the majority of the assembly after six Barisan Nasional assemblymen shifted their support to Mohd Shafie.

She also ruled that Sabah Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin had exercised his powers under Article 6(3) of Sabah Constitution to appoint Mohd Shafie as the new Chief Minister after finding Musa no longer commanded the confidence of the majority of the assemblymen.

“Pursuant to Article 7(1) of Sabah Constitution, it is mandatory for Musa to resign or vacate the post after he had lost command of the majority.

“For the above reasons, I dismiss the plaintiff’s (Musa’s) originating summons to challenge Mohd Shafie’s appointment as Chief Minister,” she said and ordered Musa to pay costs totalling RM30,000 to Mohd Shafie and Juhar.

The judge made the ruling after hearing submissions from counsels Tengku Fuad Tengku Ahmad and S. Vanugopal who represented Musa, Datuk Douglas Lind who acted for Mohd Shafie and State Attoney-General Datuk Zaleha Rose Pandin appearing for Juhar on Oct 24.

Initially, Musa had on May 17, filed a writ of summons against Mohd Shafie but withdrew it. However in June, he filed the originating summons seeking a declaration, among others, from the court that he is the rightful Chief Minister of Sabah as appointed on May 10 by the Yang di-Pertua Negeri.

An originating summons requires no trial and lawyers from both parties will file submissions and affidavits to argue their cases, while a writ of summons requires a trial with the calling of witnesses to testify.

In the originating summons, Musa named Juhar as first defendant and his successor Mohd Shafie as second defendant and sought a declaration that the May 12 appointment of Mohd Shafie as Chief Minister was illegal.

He also sought a declaration that he remained the lawful Chief Minister of Sabah and a declaration that there was no revocation or dismissal of his appointment.

Musa further sought a declaration that the first defendant (Juhar) had acted unconstitutionally in appointing Mohd Shafie as a State Cabinet member and a declaration that all acts and things done by Mohd Shafie and/or his purported Cabinet after his purported appointment as the Chief Minister are null, void and of no effect as well as damaging from both defendants.

Musa was sworn in as Chief Minister on May 10 after securing a simple majority in the 14th general election but lost the majority when several assemblymen from his party (UMNO) and from Barisan Nasional component party (UPKO) jumped ship to give their support to Parti Warisan Sabah led by Mohd Shafie.