Shafie: Hajiji should follow state Constitution and step down

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Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor should follow the Sabah Constitution and step down as chief minister, said Parti Warisan president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.

“Stick to the law first. By right, there is no need to push for Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor to resign as (chief minister), if he knows, understands and respects the Constitution he should do the necessary.

“He is no longer the president of a party (after announcing his resignation from Parti Bersatu Pribumi Malaysia [Bersatu]). It is public knowledge that he wants to set up a party,” he said in a press conference, in Kota Kinabalu today.

Julia Chan

Shafie, who is Senallang assemblyman, said any statement from Hajiji and his followers on the current imbroglio was made to appease the people.

“Especially where Article 6 (3) reads together with Article 6 (7) of the Sabah Constitution, which requires the chief minister to be the leader of the party that won a majority of the elected seats in the 2020 state election.

“The chief minister has left Bersatu and is not a member or a leader of any political party.

“The chief minister saying he is forming a new political party to keep his position is not just proof of ‘party-hopping’ but a betrayal of the mandate of the people of Sabah who voted for GRS when it was led by Bersatu/Perikatan Nasional,” he said.

Shafie said Gabungan Rakyat Sabah was formed by former Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin during the 2020 state election with Bersatu, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) dan United Sabah National Organisation (Usno). It formed a state government with BN after the state polls.

GRS was subsequently registered as a political party before the 15th General Election.

“It is unclear whether Sabah Bersatu, as the backbone of GRS, will remain in GRS.

“The chief minister is on his own and with no certainty of the support of the majority of the other elected members of the state assembly, should resign, following Article 6 (7) as stated above.

“Nobody knows whether the chief minister will now command the confidence of the majority of the elected members of the state legislature and the majority of these members have the right to choose another elected member to be the chief minister by presenting their choice to the Tuan Yang Terutama Negeri Sabah.”

When asked about the sentiment of the people who were not keen on the change of the government, Shafie said he sympathised with the people of Sabah who have to bear with the political uncertainty in the state.

“That is why I said, follow the law. If it is wrong, then it is wrong. If it is right, then it is right.

“But who started it? It is not me. It was Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor who resigned (from Beratu), not Warisan”.

Forty legislators need to be in one bloc to form a majority in the 79-seat Sabah assembly.

Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, who is GRS chairman, has the support of at least 38 assemblymen.

Among them are 15 former Bersatu assemblymen, seven each from Parti Bersatu Sabah and Sabah Pakatan Harapan, six from Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku, one each from Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah, Sabah Progressive Party and Sabah PAS.

The remaining seats are held by Parti Warisan (19), Barisan Nasional (17), Parti Kesejahteraan Demokratik Masyarakat (3), Parti Bangsa Malaysia (1) and an Independent. – NST