Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Sabah polls to proceed as court throws out appeal over dissolution

The court also rejects the assemblymen's bid for a stay of ruling pending an appeal to the Federal Court.

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The Court of Appeal today dismissed the appeal by 33 assemblymen against a High Court ruling on the Sabah governor’s move to dissolve the state legislative assembly in July.

Justice Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, who led a three-member bench with justices Abu Bakar Jais and Supang Lian, also rejected the assemblymen’s bid for a stay of today’s ruling pending an appeal to the Federal Court.

This means that the state election will proceed as scheduled, with Sept 12 as nomination day and Sept 26 for polling.

Karim ruled that Sabah Governor Juhar Mahiruddin had correctly exercised his discretion according to the Sabah constitution in dissolving the state legislative assembly.

The 33 assemblymen, led by former chief minister Musa Aman, had appealed against the Kota Kinabalu High Court’s dismissal of their application for leave for judicial review to challenge Juhar’s decision on July 30.

The court made the ruling after hearing submissions for two days beginning yesterday by counsel Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin, who represented the assemblymen; Sabah Attorney-General Brenndon Keith Soh, who acted for Juhar; counsel Cyrus Das, who appeared for Chief Minister Shafie Apdal and the state government; and senior federal counsel Suzana Atan, who acted for the Election Commission.

Musa and several of the other assemblymen were present in court.

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