There is no need to hold the Sabah state election when the nation is gripped by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Court of Appeal heard today.
Lawyer Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin who was appearing for former Sabah Chief Minister and incumbent Sungai Sibuga assemblyman Musa Aman and 32 elected representatives from the state said the five-year term of the state legislative assembly would come to an end in 2023.
“The last state election was held only two years ago. Why go for another election?”
Judges Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil, Abu Bakar Jais and Supang Lian are hearing the case.
The 33 are appealing against the dismissal of their leave for judicial review by the High Court on Aug 21 following Sabah governor Juhar Mahiruddin’s consent to dissolve the state assembly.
On Aug 21, judicial commissioner Leonard David Shim of the Kota Kinabalu High Court struck out the leave application for judicial review on the grounds that the governor’s actions were not justiciable in a court of law.
He added that there was a precedent in 1986 when the then governor Adnan Robert had granted a dissolution of the legislative assembly within one year from the date of the previous state election following a request by the then chief minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan.
“This court could take judicial notice of this undisputed fact,” he said in his judgment.
Shim said the court found that Shafie had acted within his constitutional right in asking Juhar to dissolve the state legislative assembly.
He also said Juhar had acted within the ambit of his power in dissolving the assembly.
Sabah Attorney-General Brenndon Keith Soo, representing the governor, and Cyrus Das, appearing for Shafie and the state government, are now submitting that the dissolution of assembly by the governor is not subject to challenge.