19 take oath minus Musa, Nizam
Nineteen out of 21 assemblymen who boycotted the Special Sitting of the State Legislative Assembly on Monday took their oath of office, Tuesday.
The two who were absent and may lose their seats if they fail to show up for at least three sittings were Apas Assemblyman Datuk Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan who is said to be abroad to perform umrah and Tan Sri Musa Aman, who is Sungai Sibuga assemblyman, and was reportedly also abroad for medical treatment.
The 19 assemblymen are those who won the recent 14th general election under the Barisan Nasional ticket from Umno (9), Parti Bersatu Sabah (6), Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (1) and United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Organisation (1). Also taking the oath were two assemblymen from Parti Solidariti Tanahairku (Star).
They took their oath before State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Seri Syed Abas Syed Ali in the Speaker's Chambers.
They were Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, Datuk Ellron Angin, Datuk Musbah Jamli, Datuk Bobbey Suan, Datuk Arifin Arif, Datuk Ghulam Khan Bahadar, Datuk Jahid Jahim, Datuk Dr Joachim Gunsalam, Datuk Anita Baranting, Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, Datuk Saddi Abdul Rahman, Julita Majungki, Datuk Japlin Akim, Abdul Rahman Kongkawang, Datuk Isnin Aliasnih, Matbali Musah, Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan and Robert Tawik.
The ceremony took place 24 hours after the Assembly passed a vote of confidence on Warisan President Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal by 43 members, including four nominated assemblymen.
Shafie had said the 21 assemblymen who were absent during Monday's Special Sitting ran the risk of losing their position as elected representatives if they refused to be sworn in within 90 days.
But according to Masidi, who is Karanaan Assemblyman, there is no issue about having the swearing in held on a different day.
"There is no hard and fast rule on when you can take your oath as it can be done whenever the Speaker agrees," he told reporters.
When asked to comment about the legal dispute between Shafie and Musa, Masidi said it is up to the court to decide.
"Both claimants had said they will let the law to take its own course. So let's leave it to the court to decide," he said.
Meanwhile, Hajiji said having been sworn in to office, all the elected representatives can now focus on giving their service to the people in their respective constituencies.
Sabah currently has two sworn-in Chief Ministers in Musa and Shafie.
The former was sworn-in by the Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin on May 10 after claiming a simple majority of 31 assemblymen following the kingmaker role played by Star which won two state seats.
But in less than 48 hours, defections of six assemblymen who won under the BN banner sent Shafie to the Istana Negeri to be sworn in, also by Juhar.
Musa later filed a writ of summons against Juhar and Shafie seeking a declaration that he is the lawful Chief Minister of Sabah.
Last week, Shafie filed an application to strike out Musa's, saying it was made on the grounds that his predecessor had no reasonable grounds to challenge his appointment as Chief Minister on May 12.
On Monday, Musa had said through his lawyers that he would take legal action to declare the Special Sabah State Legislative Assembly sitting unlawful. - Sherell Ann Jeffrey and Leonard Alaza