Sabah Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal has applied to strike out a lawsuit by his predecessor Musa Aman on the grounds that the latter had no reasonable grounds to challenge his appointment as chief minister on May 12.
In a statement here today, Shafie said the suit by Musa was “scandalous, frivolous and vexatious” and an abuse of the court process.
He is the second defendant named by Musa in his May 17 suit against Sabah Head of State (TYT) Tun Juhar Mahiruddin.
Shafie’s application was filed to the high court on Monday through Messrs Lind Willie Wong & Chin; the notice of application was also served to Musa’s lawyer Tengku Fuad Ahmad.
In his affidavit in support, the Parti Warisan Sabah president said it was indisputable that he was the rightful Sabah chief minister, as his party and their partners PKR, DAP and Upko had a clear majority of 35 assemblypersons against Sabah BN and Sabah State Reform Party (Star)’s 25 assemblypersons in the 60-member state assembly.
Shafie said that he was duly sworn in by the TYT under Article 6(3) of the Sabah Constitution that allows the TYT to appoint the chief minister based on his judgement that such a person was likely to command the majority.
He said the TYT had also acted in accordance to Article 7(1) of the State Constitution as Musa, who was sworn in on May 10, had already lost his majority in the assembly.
He contended that in line with the spirit of the article, Musa did not seek for the dissolution of the legislative assembly to pave way for a fresh election, and that Musa should have resigned with his cabinet.
Mohd Shafie in his application cited the Perak case authority of Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin (PAS) vs Zambry Abdul Kadir (BN) in which the courts ruled that Nizar had been deemed to have resigned and vacated his office of the menteri besar even without submitting his resignation.
He also raised the question of whether the swearing-in of Musa on May 10 was done under duress in view of the police report made by the TYT against Musa for alleged criminal intimidation.
To date, Mohd Shafie has not been served with a summons from the plaintiff.