High Court sets Aug 21 to rule over Sabah State Assembly dissolution matter

by BERNAMA/ pic by BERNAMA

THE High Court is to rule on Aug 21 whether the decision of the Sabah Yang Dipertua Negeri to dissolve the State Legislative Assembly on July 30 is justiciable.

Judicial Commissioner Leonard David Shim set the date after hearing clarification over more than four hours on submissions from counsel for Tan Sri Musa Aman and 32 other assemblymen, the applicants, as well as for Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin and three others, the respondents.

He also allowed the applicants’ counsel Tengku Fuad Ahmad to submit a written reply in response to oral submissions by the respondents’ counsel.

The court is hearing the matter of justiciability (subject to trial in a court of law) in view of an application for leave for judicial review of the decision to dissolve the state assembly from Musa and the 32 assemblymen backing him.

They have named Tun Juhar as the first respondent, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal as the second respondent, the Election Commission as the third respondent and the Government of Sabah as the fourth respondent.

Tengku Fuad made the request to submit the written reply, pointing out that the respondents’ counsel had filed in their written submission only in the afternoon of Aug 14 instead of Aug 10 set by the court.

He also said that he needed to reply to an argument put forward by one of the respondents’ counsel, Chung Jiun Dau, that did not meet the directive of Shim to clarify on the justiciability of Tun Juhar’s action in dissolving the legislative assembly.

“We (the applicants’ team of counsel) were caught by surprise when the respondents’ counsel argued that the 33 assemblymen had no locus standi to question the first respondent’s (Tun Juhar’s) power to dissolve the state assembly,” he said.