PENINSULA-based opposition parties will have no chance to form the government in Sabah even if they won the coming general election, reports an online portal.
Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS) President Dr Nicholas James Guntobon (pic,seated 3rd left) said parties such as Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Democratic Action Party (DAP) and PAS could not even appoint any of their own Sabahan leaders as the Chief Minister of Sabah with the existence of Article 6(3) and 6(7) in the Sabah Constitution.
He said those two provisions were amended in the Constitution on May 25, 1990 during the then ruling Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) administration in the State.
“The Article clause 3 reads that Yang di-Pertua Negeri shall appoint as Chief Minister a member of the Legislative assembly who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of a majority of the members of the Assembly and shall appoint the other members mentioned in clause (2) in accordance with the advice of the Chief Minister from among the members of the Assembly: Provided that if an appointment is made while the Legislative Assembly is dissolved a person who was a member of the last Assembly may be appointed but shall not continue to hold office after the first sitting of the next Legislative Assembly unless he is a member thereof.
“While the Article clause 7 reads that for the purpose of clause (3) of this Article, where a political party has won a majority of the elected seats of the Legislative Assembly in a general election, the leader of such political party, who is a member of the Legislative Assembly shall be the member of the Legislative Assembly who is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Assembly.
“In other words, in a layman interpretation both articles are stating that a political party that has won a majority of the elected seats of the Legislative Assembly in a general election can form a government in the State provided that the leader of the political party that won the majority seats in the State Legislative Assembly, must be a member of the State Assembly and can be even appointed as the Chief Minister of Sabah,” he said.
Dr Nicholas disclosed this to reporters after attending a 22nd anniversary of Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) here, recently. He said the leaders of PKR, DAP and PAS are national political leaders and not members of the State Assembly, which also means that they are not applicable to Article 6(7) which is very unique to Sabah.
“PKR leader is Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, DAP’s prominent leader is Lim Kit Siang and PAS leader is Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang – none are qualified under both articles.
“Even their respective Sabahan leaders heading the parties in Sabah like under ‘PKR Sabah’ or ‘DAP Sabah’ cannot form the government in Sabah as Article 6(3) refers to the political party that is registered with the Registrar of Societies (RoS) and that party stated in the Article would refer to the national party that won the general election.
“Also, for instance, PKR Sabah and DAP Sabah heads cannot be appointed as the Chief Minister of Sabah although they are ADUNs because they do not fulfil the criteria of Article 6(7) whereby the main leaders of the political party that won the general election must be an ADUN and a Sabahan,” he said.
According to Dr Nicholas, Barisan Nasional (BN) fulfils all criteria as stated in Article 6(3) and 6(7) as there are three entities under the coalition namely BN Malaysia, BN Sabah and BN Sarawak registered with RoS.
He said he discovered the registration numbers of the three entities after checking with RoS.
“BN Malaysia’s registration number is PPM-003-14-0106-1974 while the BN Sabah (registered as ‘Jawatankuasa Penyelaras BN Negeri Sabah) registration number is PPM-003-14-0106-1974-143 and BN Sarawak’s (registered as ‘Jawatankuasa Penyelaras BN Negeri Sarawak’) registration number is PPM-003-14-0106-1974-174.
“Due these three different registration numbers, they are legally a political party. The leader of this political party is called Chairman and the Chairman of BN Sabah is equal to President of any local-based political party in Sabah such as PCS that received its certificate of registration from RoS, three months after the 13th General Election.”
In light of Article 6(3) and 6(7), Dr Nicholas said it would be best that peninsula-based opposition parties focus on winning parliamentary areas so as to take over Putrajaya level or focus on winning the Putrajaya while the local-based opposition parties focus on winning the state seats to enable them to form the new government.
If such aspiration comes about, he said opposition parties that take over Putrajaya can work together with the local-based opposition parties for the benefit of the people.-Source Sabahkini