Court dismisses Musa Aman’s challenge to Sabah assembly dissolution

(FMT) – The High Court here has dismissed the judicial review application by 33 Sabah assemblymen against Sabah Governor Juhar Mahiruddin’s consent to dissolve the state assembly.

The group, led by former chief minister Musa Aman, filed the leave for judicial review on Aug 3, seeking an injunction to the dissolution of the assembly.

They also questioned the written request from Shafie Apdal, who is now caretaker chief minister, to Juhar for the dissolution of the assembly.

Judicial commissioner Leonard David Shim struck out the application on grounds that the court had no justiciability to hear and decide on the case.

On Aug 17, Shim heard oral submissions from Tengku Fuad Ahmad, the counsel representing the group, the state Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) and the senior federal counsel.

The High Court had wanted further arguments on whether it had the judicial authority to hear and decide on the challenge to the governor’s authority to dissolve the state assembly.

Today, it examined the written reply submissions by Fuad on the assemblymen’s locus standi to challenge Juhar’s decision.

State Attorney-General Brenndon Keith Soh said the case had been dismissed against the respondents.

“The court found the that the governor’s decision was non-justiciable,” he told reporters after the ruling, adding that the first and second respondents were found to have acted in accordance with the state constitution.

The dissolution paved the way for a snap election in the state, with Sept 26 set for polling day and nomination day on Sept 12.

The 33 assemblymen had named Juhar as the first respondent and Shafie, the EC and the state government as the second, third and fourth respondents respectively.

Soh, representing the first, second and fourth respondents, was allowed by the court to appear for the review application hearing.

Fuad said they would appeal against the ruling, adding that the appeal was sent five minutes after the judgment was made.