Sabah Speaker confirms Sebatik assemblyman an independent

Sabah State Assembly Speaker Datuk Kadzim M Yahya during a press conference at Sabah State Legislative Assembly today. Photo: Bernama

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah State Assembly Speaker Datuk Kadzim M Yahya today confirmed that Sebatik assemblyman Hassan A Gani Pg Amir remains as an independent assemblyman who supports the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) government in the state.

Kadzim said this was because his (Hassan’s) resignation letter that was submitted by Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) yesterday was ineffective as it was pre-signed and undated.

He added that Hassan had also submitted to him a Statutory Declaration (SD) that clearly stated that he had no intention to vacate the seat despite having exited Warisan.

“After going through both the documents, I find that his resignation letter that was submitted by Warisan to me, that is said to be signed by YB (Yang Berhormat) Sebatik (Hassan), is by itself ineffective.

“According to the laws that we have now, any pre-signed and undated resignation letters are void. As such, based on this, I cannot accept the letter as a resignation letter,” he told a media conference here.

Yesterday, Hassan had submitted the SD stating that he had no intention of vacating the Sebatik seat to Kadzim at 11.45 am at the latter’s office at the State Legislative Assembly Building here.

Half an hour later, Warisan secretary-general Datuk Loretto S Padua handed over the pre-signed resignation letter to Kadzim’s office to consider vacating the Sebatik state seat.

According to the contents of the letter dated Feb 26, 2021, Hassan informed of his resignation as an assemblyman with immediate effect, in line with his pledge of allegiance (to the party) when he was picked as a candidate by Warisan for the Sabah State Election (Sabah PRN) in September last year.

Asked how he knew that the resignation letter was signed earlier and not dated, Kadzim said that Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal himself had previously been reported as saying said that all the party’s candidates for the Sabah PRN had issued letters to the effect.

“If we take into account the statements from the Warisan president and its secretary-general, they themselves acknowledge that all their (elected) representatives, candidates (for the Sabah PRN)) had given pre-signed letters (of resignation). How come from September (last year) can set Feb 26 to resign. Where is the logic? That (letter) is indeed undated and pre-signed,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kadzim said it was up to Warisan to take any action against Hassan including legal action regarding the issue.

“The current laws on a pre-signed and undated resignation letter state that it is a void document. There are previous legal cases on this. I will not make an illegal decision,” he said.

On Feb 25, Hassan had announced that he had opted to become an Independent assemblyman who supports the Sabah State Government under GRS as well as the leadership of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor.

Following that, Mohd Shafie on Monday (March 1) said Warisan was looking into taking legal action against Hassan (over the latter’s move to become an independent assemblyman).

In the 16th Sabah PRN held in September last year, Hassan won the Sebatik seat on a Warisan ticket in a seven-cornered contest. – Bernama