Liew Explains The Law To Those In Denial

KOTA KINABALU: Warisan permanent chairman Datuk Liew Vui Keong today called on all quarters to respect the institution of the Office of the Sabah Head of State.

He also urged parties that continue to irresponsibly politicise last week’s dissolution of the state legislative assembly to move on.

“The law is clear, the dissolution was legal and constitutional. And that is the end of the story,” he said in a statement today.

“Politics aside, we must not forget basic mannerisms as decent human beings”    

In the clearest statement yet to explain provisions under the law he said the Head of State was merely performing his constitutional functions.

“There is no need to be uncouth, rude and to cast

unfounded allegations on a Head of State.”

Liew, who was de facto law minister under the Pakatan Harapan government, cleared the air after reports surfaced today of an NGO filing a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) against the Head of State for alleged wrongdoings in dissolving the state assembly last week.

“Allow me to categorically state that these allegations are entirely nonsensical in law and in fact,” he said.

“Article 7(1) of the Sabah State Constitution provides in no unclear terms that should the Chief Minister cease to command majority support, he can request the

Governor to dissolve the Sabah state legislative assembly.

“Article 21(2) further highlights the Governor’s discretion in this regard. It states that the Sabah Governor may dissolve the state assembly.

“The word ‘may’ here entails legal effect that the Governor has the discretion as to whether he wishes to accede to the Chief Minister’s request to dissolve the assembly.”

Liew said in simple words that meant the choice was the Governor’s as to whether the assembly should be dissolved.

“This discretion of the Governor is also absolute and cannot be questioned in any court.

“In Datuk (Datu) Amir Kahar Tun Mustapha v Tun Mohd Said Keruak (Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Sabah) & Ors. [1994] 4 CLJ 566, the High Court held that the discretion of the Sabah State Governor to dissolve the assembly is given

exclusively to the Governor by the Sabah State Constitution and hence the court has no jurisdiction to question the discretional decision.”


He said the High Court however added that what could be questioned was whether the conditions prerequisite to the Governor exercising such a discretion had been satisfied – this being whether the Chief Minister had requested the Governor to dissolve the assembly.

“Which in last week’s dissolution of the assembly, (Chief Minister) Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal had requested of the Governor.”

Therefore the entire process of dissolution was in line with the State Constitution and therewith constitutional, he explained.

“The question of misuse of power as well is rubbish and non-existent as affirmed by case law: the discretional decision of the Sabah Governor to dissolve the assembly is solely the Governor’s and cannot be challenged.”

According to Liew the state government had also gazetted the dissolution of the assembly and had formally informed the Election Commission (EC) of the dissolution.

In turn, the EC has confirmed being officially notified of the dissolution and has begun preparations to hold the state election, he said, adding the entire process has been proper.