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Warisan plans new law for CM’s appointment through democratic process

Shafie…if Warisan wins

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) plans to reinstate Articles 6(7) and 6(3) of the Sabah Constitution if it comes into power after the next state election.

The party’s president, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal said restoring the Article which was deleted during a State Assembly sitting in May last year is vital to make sure the appointment of a Sabah Chief Minister is carried out through a democratic process.

“If Warisan becomes the government after the next state election, I want to restore Articles 6(7) and 6(3). I do not mind not becoming the Chief Minister. I am not crazy about wanting that title, but what I am crazy about is to serve the state and people of Sabah,” he said during the Warisan Kota Kinabalu division Chinese New Year celebration at Hakka Hall here on Friday night.

Shafie criticised the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS)-led State Government’s move to remove Article 6(7) from the Constitution, claiming it was done to ensure the coalition stays in power.

He said according to the deleted Articles 6(7) and 6(3), the Chief Minister chosen by the Yang di-Pertua Negeri (TYT) of Sabah after an election has to be from the party which has the highest majority of assemblymen and he had to be from a political party.

“Article 6(7), read together with Article 6(3), was introduced by Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan back in the 90s, but now it has been deleted and amended just for the sake of wanting to become the Chief Minister.

“Is it right for local parties and leaders to disrespect the Sabah Constitution? We should preserve the Constitution, not change it according to our liking,” he said.

Article 6(3), among others, states that the Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Sabah shall appoint as Chief Minister a member of the legislative assembly who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of a majority of the members of the assembly.

Article 6(7), meanwhile, states that the leader of a political party that has won a majority of the elected seats of the Legislative Assembly in a general election and who is a member of the assembly shall be the one who is likely to command the confidence of the majority.

In a State Assembly sitting in May 25 last year, the Anti-Party Hopping Bill was passed to prevent party hopping by politicians in the state, and tabled along the Bill was the deletion of Article 6(7).

Voted separately, the August house saw all 75 of the 79 assemblymen present give their votes for the anti-hop law amendment, but 14 Warisan assemblymen did not support the amendment for the removal of Article 6(7).

It was eventually passed when all 61 State Government assemblymen from GRS, Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH) backed the removal of the clause.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, when explaining the motive for the removal, had said that it is due to Article 6(7) no longer in line with the requirements under Article 6(3) following current political developments.

He had said that since the 14th General Election (GE14) in 2018, no political party had obtained a majority to govern the state and since then, the State Government has been administered by a coalition of political parties, adding that the amendment would provide the TYT with more leeway in his choice of Chief Minister.

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