Skip to content

SAPP: Form All-Party Committee on Article 6(7) replacement

Kota Kinabalu, Tuesday, 27 February 2024

The best way to establish crystal clear certainty in the appointment of a Chief Minister is to have an All-Party Select Committee in the Legislative Assembly on the replacement of Article 6(7) so that the constitutional provision on the appointment of a Chief Minister by the Head of State can be made without any room for doubt. This All-Party Select Committee, consisting of the parties in the Assembly, should reach a consensus for a replacement of Article 6(7) for an amendment to the Sabah constitution.

A clear constitutional provision must be put in place before the coming Sabah elections.

At the Assembly debate on 25 May 2023 on the repeal of Article 6(7), I have proposed such a committee and I now repeat my proposal.

Without a suitable replacement of Article 6(7), and relying only on Article 6(3), can lead to confusion like the so-called power grab of 1985.

Further, giving absolute discretion to the TYT to appoint a CM after the elections could also open up the possibility of Johore when, in March 2022, the incumbent Menteri Besar, who was also chairman of his party in Johore and election campaign poster boy, was not reappointed as Menteri Besar after winning the State elections.

I am also confident that this All-Party Select Committee will agree with Tengku Datuk Fuad Ahmad that the dismissal of any sitting Chief Minister can only be done after a vote of loss of confidence or else a defeat of a government bill in the Legislative Assembly.

The abolition of Article 6(7) last year by the Sabah Legislative Assembly was caused mainly by the blurring of Article 6(7) due to the results of the Sabah elections of May 2018 and again September 2020 which saw contests of electoral pacts all of which were not registered political parties in Sabah.

I politely disagree with Tengku Fuad that the now repealed Article 6(7) was poorly drafted. That Article 6(7) was well drafted and precise and passed by the Legislative Assembly in 1990, prior to the Sabah elections that year.

Article 6(7) was enacted to avoid a repeat of the 1985 so-called power grab whereby the majority party PBS President (now Tan Sri) Joseph Pairin Kitingan was not (at first) appointed Chief Minister.

Article 6(7) has served Sabah very well for a long, long time.

Article 6(7) only became controversial in 2018 and 2020 when different parties had their own interpretations to suit their own advantage.

For proper context and facts,
I propose that the then Chief Minister from PBS, Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, be invited to give his input to the Select Committee.

Datuk Yong Teck Lee

President of SAPP

Nominated ADUN

Ex-Likas Assemblyman (1985-2000)

Ex-Chief Minister (May 1996-May 1998)