KOTA KINABALU- The Special Sabah State Legislative Assembly Sitting convenes without members of the opposition that announced its decision to boycott the proceedings last night.
Present were 43 assemblymen from Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) , Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) , Democratic Action Party (DAP) and United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut association (Upko) as well as former Umno members who switched sides.
There were 21 assemblymen absent including 11 from Umno, 6 from Parti Bersatu Sabah and one each from Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) and Upko.
UMNO won 17 seats in the 14th General Election on May 9 but four of its assemblymen left the party to lend their support to Warisan.
The four are Tanjung Batu assemblyman Datuk Hamisa Samat, Datuk Abdul Muis Picho (Sebatik), Jamawi Jaafar (Kemabong) dan Datuk Osman Jamal (Balung).
State Assembly Speaker Datuk Syed Abas Syed Ali opened the sitting with a short speech where he touched on the need to continue pursuing Sabah’s rights as enshrined under the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
The sitting saw elected representatives sworn in and tabling a motion for a vote of confidence to Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal as Chief Minister.
Four nominated assemblymen, Upko acting president Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau, Sabah Dap chief Stephen Wong Tien Fatt, Warisan secretary general Loretto Padua and treasurer general Terrence Siambun were also sworn in.
Yesterday, two “deputy Chief Ministers” sworn in under Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Tan Sri Musa Aman had said BN and Parti Solidariti TanahAirku (Star) would boycott the sitting.
The duo, Datuk Seri Hajiji Mohd Noor and Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, had said the sitting is unlawful and is a contemptuous attempt to derail the court proceedings initiated by Musa to determine the validity of the two swearing-ins of Sabah Chief Minister.
In a joint statement, they also said the Notice calling for the special sitting is in contravention of Order No. 6 of the Standing Orders of the Legislative Assembly, which requires twenty-one days of notice to be given before the day of the sitting, unless in cases of emergency the Yang Di-pertua Negeri may dispense with the necessity for such notice.
State Assembly was dissolved on April 7 last year to make way for 14th general election which means 120 days is needed for the next sitting to be held on August 6. — Reporting by Mohd Izham Unnip Abdullah, Olivia Miwil dan Fardy Bungga.- New Straits Times