KOTA KINABALU, Feb 13 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s dismissal of Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal’s call for Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) to stay away from Sabah may be another sign that Putrajaya is ignoring the state’s wishes, Sabah Progressive Party president Datuk Yong Teck Lee said today.
The former chief minister (CM) said that the reported statement from Dr Mahathir — who said that the entry of PPBM into Sabah is not subject to the views of Shafie — has cast serious doubt on whether the federal government will also brush aside the Sabah government’s wishes in matters that only affect the state.
He said that one of the main unresolved issues affecting Sabah is the unfulfilled requirement of the Sabah Constitution which provides for 73 members of the Sabah Legislative Assembly, when there is currently only 60.
“A new Parliament has been elected on May 9 last year. Ever since then, there have been two sittings of Parliament lasting a total of 50 days. However, the prime minister has not tabled the Election Commission (EC) report to Parliament despite having more than ample time and opportunity to do so,” he said in a statement here.
Before the May 9 polls, Yong and his associates filed for a court order to compel the PM to perform his mandatory, constitutional duty to abide by an Election Commission report to approve the increase of state constituencies from 60 to 73 seats in Parliament.
But by the time the High Court heard the case, Parliament had been dissolved. The case is currently pending an appeal.
Last October, Yong had again filed another court application seeking a court order to bar the CM from advising the Head of State to dissolve the Assembly.
“In the affidavits in this case, the CM disclosed that the Sabah government headed by him has brought the matter (of the EC report) to the PM for the immediate attention of the PM. But the CM has refused to disclose the communications between him and the PM.
“The matter of public interest to Sabahans now is, why the PM did not take immediate action to table the EC report to Parliament in spite of having 50 sitting days of Parliament last year?
“Is it because the PM has brushed aside the wishes of the Sabah government? Or is it because the Sabah government did not bring this [EC report] to the PM before the Parliament sittings in 2018?” asked Yong.
He said the federal government has one more opportunity to table the EC report in Parliament when it reconvenes for one month on March 11.
“The people of Sabah rightly expect that the EC report will be tabled to Parliament without any more delay or excuses,” he said.