Shafie gets majority support

Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah State Legislative Assembly passed a vote of confidence on Warisan President Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, Monday, endorsing him as the new Chief Minister.

It was an unanimous approval by 43 members, including four Nominated Assemblymen.

The confidence motion on Mohd Shafie was tabled by Deputy Chief Minister Christina Liew, who is also State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister in a special sitting. It was seconded by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Jaujan Sambakong, who is also State Local Government and Housing Minister.

In tabling the motion, Christina said the state government led by Warisan had the backing of 37 assemblymen following the decision by a number of Upko and Umno representatives to switch their support to Mohd Shafie.

Four assemblymen Datuk Abidin Madingkir (Paginatan), Phoong Jin Zhe (Luyang), Datuk Masiung Banah (Kuamut) and Jamawi Jaafar (Kemabong) debated the motion before Speaker Datuk Syed Abas Syed Ali announced the outcome.

“Congratulations to Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sabah Tun Juhar Mahiruddin for carrying out his responsibility in all fairness, in accordance with Article 6(3) of the Sabah Constitution, to swear in Mohd Shafie as Sabah Chief Minister on May 12, 2018,” Christina said.

She called on Sabah’s assemblymen to support Mohd Shafie who had obtained the majority vote and mandate to lead the state government.

It was unfair to the people in Sabah, she said, if polemics against the state leadership were allowed to persist and unsettle the state government.

“The voice of the people who desire change should be respected. Chief Minister Mohd Shafie had obtained a clear and strong mandate from the people. In return he will surely endeavour to serve the people to the best of his ability,” she said.

She said Mohd Shafie’s appointment as chief minister was appropriate considering his vast experience in politics and in the government including as a federal minister for nine years. The assembly has 60 elected members while the Sabah constitution allows the governor to appoint not more than six nominated members.

The May 9 general election ended in a hung assembly with the Barisan Nasional (BN) and the Parti Warisan Sabah-led alliance both winning 29 seats. The remaining two seats went to Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (Star) led by its president Jeffrey Kitingan.

Star threw its support behind BN, giving them a majority 31 seats in the 60-member assembly, and state BN chairman Musa Aman was sworn in as chief minister.

However, subsequent defections from Umno and Upko swung the majority to the Warisan-led alliance, and Warisan president Shafie Apdal took the oath as chief minister.

Musa has challenged Shafie’s appointment in court.

Sabah Umno treasurer Hajiji Mohd Noor and Jeffrey earlier said the assemblymen elected under the BN ticket and Star would boycott the sitting which they claimed was illegal.

At the start of Monday’s sitting at 10.30am, the 35 representatives from Warisan and its partners DAP, PKR and Upko and the four nominated assemblymen were sworn in before speaker Syed Abbas Syed Ali.

The four nominated assemblymen were Upko acting president and Tuaran MP Wilfred Madius Tangau, DAP state chairman Stephen Wong, Warisan Secretary-General Loretto Padua Jr and Warisan Treasurer Terence Siambun.

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