PUTRAJAYA — Sept. 11, 2020: A three-member Federal Court bench has unanimously dismissed an application for a stay of the Sabah election, which will have its nomination day tomorrow and polling on September 26.
This was because it was not persuaded to exercise its discretion to grant the stay.
Justics Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli, Justices Datuk Zabariah Mohd Yusof and Datuk Mary Lim Thiam Suan made up the panel to hear the application from former Tamparuli assemblyman Datuk Jahid @ Noordin Jahim for the stay pending the disposal of an appeal to determine the rightful chief minister of Sabah — sitting CM Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal or former CM Tan Sri Musa Aman.
“Our decision is unanimous. We fully appreciate the importance of preserving the integrity of the applicant (Jahid) but at the same time we are also mindful of the importance of preserving the integrity of the democratic process through an election.
“Having given the matter serious consideration, we are of the view that on the balance of convenience and greater public interest, the application is far way out of the interest of the applicant,” said Rahman, who led the bench.
Musa, who was present in court, had filed a similar application yesterday but the court did not hear his application as counsel for the respondents said they need time to reply.
Musa and Jahid obtained leave from the Federal Court on August 26 to proceed with the appeal to challenge of the validity of Shafie’s appointment.
Lawyer Datuk Cyrus Das considered the stay application as an abuse of the process as Musa’s appeal on the rightful CM is different from that of the dissolution of the state assembly.
He also said that stopping the election will affect 1.12 million voters as well as more than 200 candidates.