By Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun, Secretary General Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS)
KOTA KINABALU: This statement is in response to the media statement by Datuk Seri Bung Mohktar Radin which attempts to cast doubt and confusion on the legitimacy of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Haji Bin Haji Noor.
It was stated that Datuk Seri Hajji was not qualified to be Chief Minister under Article 6(7) of the Constitution of the State of Sabah. Article 6(7) reads: –
“For the purpose of Clause (3) of this Article, where a political party has won a majority of the elected seats of the Legislative Assembly in a general election, the leader of such political party, who is a member of the Legislative Assembly, shall be the member of the Legislative Assembly who is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Assembly.”
Following a State General Election, the Tuan Yang Terutama will choose a member of the Assembly whom he thinks shall command the confidence of a majority of the members of the Assembly:
Article 6(3). Where a political party wins a majority of the seats in the Assembly (the ‘DUN) the leader of that party is presumed to command the majority: Article 6(7).
A ‘majority’ for the purposes of Article 6(7) means more than 50% of the seats in the DUN.
This definition of ‘majority was made clear by the High Court in Tan Sri Musa Aman v Tun Juhar & Anor  10 MLJ 329 where at page 345 in paragraphs  and  High Court Judge Datuk Yew Jen Kie stated that ‘majority’ does not mean the most seats but greater than 50% of the seats in the DUN. Datuk Yew Jen Kie went on to say that Article 6(7) will not apply unless a political party manages to win more than 50% of the DUN seats following a State election which, was not the case in 2018 (GE 14).
In GE 14 no single party won more than 50% of the DUN seats and therefore Article 6(7) of the Sabah Constitution was not applicable.
The Court of Appeal upheld Datuk Yew Jen Kie’s verdict in Tan Sri Musa
Aman v Tun Juhar & Anor  3 MLJ 49 at page 56, paragraph .
In 2020 (GE15) no single political party won more than 50% of the 73 seats contested.
Therefore, following the High Court and Court of Appeal’s interpretation of Article 6(7), the Taun Yang Terutama first observed that no single political party won more than 50% of the DUN seats and thus correctly disregarded Article 6(7) as inapplicable.
The Tan Yang Terutama then properly and correctly exercised his powers under Article 6(3) and appointed
Datuk Seri Haii Haiii Bin Haji Noor as the Chief Minister.
Therefore, Datuk Seri Haji Hajji Bin Haji Noor was constitutionally and legitimately sworn in as Chief Minister in accordance with the law and the democratic mandate of the people of Sabah.
Datuk Seri Haji Hajji Bin Haji Noor and all former PPBM ADUNs having left
PPBM in December 2022 are all direct members of Gabungan Rakyat Sabah
(GRS). There are more than enough majority ADUNs and is the largest political party in the Dewan Undangan Neger Sabah.
Therefore there is no merit to Datuk Seri Bung Mohktar Radin’s allegation that Datuk Seri Haji Hajiji Bin Haji Noor has no locus standi (right of standing) to be Sabah’s Chief Minister.
it shall also be observed that the Constitution of the State of Sabah is designed to promote certainty and political stability in Sabah.
It is fundamental to Sabah’s constitutional order that the Tuan Yang Terutama is not dragged into political schemes, disputes or power struggles.
I hope that certain political leaders observe this and show the TYT and his office the respect it deserves.
Therefore, the recent practice of bringing signed statutory declarations to the Istana as evidence of the confidence of DUNs in the government is undesirable and should be discouraged.