Thu, 28 Sep 2023


Upko chief explains U-turn on repealing Sabah’s Article 6(7)
Published on: Monday, May 29, 2023
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Upko chief explains U-turn on repealing Sabah’s Article 6(7)
Upko president Ewon Benedick said he will present his party’s views on the repeal of Article 6(7) of Sabah’s constitution when the state government holds an inter-party meeting.
PETALING JAYA: Upko president Ewon Benedick has sought to explain why he decided to support the Sabah government’s move to repeal Article 6(7) of the state’s constitution despite opposing it initially.

According to The Borneo Post, Ewon said he decided to support the repeal as chief minister Hajiji Noor had promised to hold an inter-party meeting to discuss concerns about the move.

The Kadamaian assemblyman also said passing the anti-hopping bill, which had included repealing Article 6(7), was far more important than concerns about the said provision.

“The people of Sabah will not see party hopping by elected representatives after elections anymore (thanks to the anti-hopping bill).

“Related issues pertaining to Article 6(7) can be overcome through Article 6(3),” said Ewon, who is also a federal minister.

Article 6(3) of the Sabah constitution states that the governor shall appoint as chief minister a member of the legislative assembly likely to command the confidence of a majority of the members of the assembly. However, Article 6(7) infers that the party of whoever becomes chief minister would have taken a simple majority of seats.

Hajiji suggested that this clause was no longer relevant given the complexity of Sabah politics, and that coalitions tended to form the state government.

“Part of the reason I supported the Article’s deletion is because the chief minister said an inter-party meeting would be called on this matter, so I am ready to give Upko’s opinions at the meeting,” Ewon said.

Last Thursday, the Sabah assembly passed the historic anti-hopping bill that prohibits assemblymen from changing parties.

However, Warisan had objected to repealing Article 6(7), with party president Shafie Apdal saying it was important for the chief minister to come from a party that won the most state seats at the polls.

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