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'State Constitution amendment on CM's removal can promote political stability'
Published on: Monday, February 26, 2024
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'State Constitution amendment on CM's removal can promote political stability'
Filepic by Berita Harian online
KOTA KINABALU: The amendment of Article 7(1) of the Sabah Constitution can promote political stability in the State, said State Government’s legal advisor Datuk Tengku Fuad Tengku Ahmad.

Fuad said the amendment would clarify that a Chief Minister can only be removed on the grounds of “no confidence” following a vote of no confidence in the Legislative Assembly. Article 7(1) of the State Constitution reads: “If the Chief Minister ceases to command the confidence of a majority of the members of the Legislative Assembly, then, unless at his request the Yang di-Pertua Negeri dissolves the Assembly, the Chief Minister shall tender the resignation of the members of the Cabinet.”

Fuad said it is not for the Head of State to decide if the Chief Minister has lost the confidence of the Assembly.

“This will not only promote political stability but will also put an end to the use of statutory declarations and other external and extraneous devices that have been used of late in either toppling a government or triggering a state election,” he said in a statement, Monday.

As for Articles 6(3) and 6(7) of the State Constitution, he said Warisan President Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal’s recent pledge to reinstate both Articles is “factually and legally wrong.”

“First, Article 6(3) of the Sabah Constitution has never been repealed by the GRS or any other State government.”

He said the GRS-led State Government acted prudently, lawfully, and decisively in repealing Article 6(7) on May 25, 2023. Fuad said Article 6(7), enacted in the 1990s under the then PBS State Government, was so imprecise and poorly drafted that it led to confusion about who, how and when the Head of State should appoint a Chief Minister.

He also pointed out that the Article formed the basis of Warisan-Umno’s misguided attempt to take over the Sabah Government in January 2023.

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