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‘Not the first time  Sabah ignored a Federal Court order’
Published on: Friday, July 10, 2020
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Kota Kinabalu: Failure to adhere to a Federal Court order to demolish illegally-built shophouses at Sabindo, Tawau, is another example of the Sabah Government’s disregard for the rule of law, said former Chief Minister Datuk Yong Teck Lee (pic).

The SAPP President said this was not the only time that the Sabah Government has disregarded court orders, saying the “most notorious example” being its refusal to respect the Kota Kinabalu High Court’s order that the appointment of a Director of the Water Department was illegal as it contravened the Sabah Water Supply Enactment 2003.

“If, as alleged by the Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister, who is also the Assemblyman for Sri Tanjung in Tawau, Datuk Jimmy Wong Sze Phin, that the Federal Court had ruled against the development of commercial shophouses at the open space, then it follows that the agreements concerning the project, the subsequent conversion of the land from open space to commercial and whatever actions by the Tawau Municipal Council and Sabah officials are of no legal effect whatsoever.”

The frustration shown by Wong, said Yong, is understandable because he had pledged in big, colourful billboards with his photo at the open space saying: “Lot-Lot Kedai di Sabindo Yang dibina secara haram akan dirobohkan dalam masa 100 hari” (Illegally built Sabindo shoplots will be demolished in 100 days) after Pakatan Harapan, of which DAP was a partner, formed the then federal snad state governments.

“Presumably, Jimmy was confident of the daring 100-day promise because of the Federal Court order which he had obtained six months before the election,” said SAPP President Yong. 

“It is now more than two years or 792 days after Jimmy Wong and his party, DAP, has formed the Sabah Government. But the uncompleted shophouses remain standing.

“The ugly sight at Sabindo has become a daily reminder to the people of Tawau about this DAP failure to fulfill the so-called mother of all promises because it was the same issue that first propelled Jimmy to the Sabah Legislative Assembly in the 2008 State elections after Jimmy had used a dramatic campaign photo of him being kicked down by a worker of the project contractor on the site.” 

Yong said with the law and the Federal Court on Wong’s side, all that the Government had to do was to enforce the law.

He recalled a local news report on June 26 where Wong had written to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal in a desperate plea to save the Tawau open space. 

It was reported that he had written to all cabinet ministers which met July 8, said Yong, adding as Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister, Wong’s office is only a short walk to the Chief Minister’s.

“But Jimmy has to resort to repeated press conferences to highlight his failed promise to demolish the uncompleted shophouses. Therefore, it is safe to assume that Jimmy has reached a dead end on this issue,” argued Yong.


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