KOTA KINABALU, May 12 — Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal is confident of his position as Sabah chief minister, and believes he has the support of the state Governor, civil service and the people.
Shafie, who was sworn in as the 15th chief minister earlier today, said that he was confident he would come up on top if Tan Sri Musa Aman tried to challenge the legitimacy of his position.
“He can try (to challenge me) but I’m confident this fight won’t go far. The other avenue is to bring it to court, but you cannot file an injunction,” he said, adding that there was a precedence of similar cases, most recently the Perak government tussle where the incumbent had to step down after losing the majority.
“The interpretation of the law is clear, according to Article 7 (1) of the Constitution that you need to command the confidence of the majority,” he said.
Shafie said that he had spoken to the Chief Justice of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum and he was assured his appointment was constitutional.
Shafie said he will focus on restructuring the state to introduce reforms that will bring the state to new heights.
When asked whether he would move to the chief minister’s official residence, Seri Gaya, he said “I have a house here. My grandchildren are around.”
Shafie said he had gone through the due process, sending the Head of State, Tun Juhar Mahiruddin, the statutory declarations he had obtained to prove he had majority support and Juhar had said he had confidence in him.
“The TYT had asked him (Musa) to resign and then he called a leader whom he had confidence in. The ceremony was done correctly, smoothly, with the civil service in attendance and organised in advance,” he said.
Shafie’s swearing-in, in the absence of Musa’s resignation, has caused deep concern and confusion among Sabahans and has led to worries of a constitutional crisis.
Shafie said there was no such crisis imminent if Musa would just concede and admit defeat.
Earlier, Parti Bersatu Sabah president Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan and Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku president Datuk Jeffrey Kitingan maintained that they had the constitutional right to stay in government and “political leap-frogging” was a dishonourable act.