(12 September 2002)

Kuala Lumpur: Former Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Yong Teck Lee was Wednesday declared as no longer the State Assemblyman for Likas while he also appears likely to lose his Gaya parliamentary seat.

This follows his failure in the Federal Court on Sept 3 to obtain permission to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold an Election Court ruling that he had committed corrupt practice during the 1999 State election.

Sabah State Assembly Speaker Datuk Hassan Alban Sandukong announced in Kota Kinabalu Wednesday that Yong has ceased to be the Likas Assemblyman, adding however that a by-election need not be called for.

“In view of the fact that there are only 15 months left of the current term of the State Assembly, a by-election need not be held,” he said, citing Article 21 (5) of the State Constitution which allows that if there is less than two years left of the Assembly’s term.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tun Dr Mohamed Zahir Ismail, meanwhile, said Yong would automatically cease to be the MP for Gaya two weeks after the Federal Court’s decision in accordance with Article 48(4) of the Federal Constitution.

This was unless he applied for a royal pardon within the two weeks, Zahir told reporters at Parliament lobby.

“If there are no changes in the action taken in accordance with the constitution, he no longer qualifies to be the MP come Sept 18,” the Speaker said.

Zahir, who was asked to comment on the Sabah Speaker’s announcement, said there was no need for a declaration on Yong’s position as an MP.

The ex-Chief Minister would automatically cease to be the MP 14 days after the final court decision as was the case with former Kota Melaka MP Lim Guan Eng, he said.

“In my opinion, there is no need for a declaration, he automatically ceases to be the MP,” he said.

Yong, who is the President of the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), met Zahir Wednesday morning. He told reporters later he would not attend the ongoing sitting of the Dewan Rakyat to avoid embarrassing the House and the Barisan Nasional.

Zahir said Yong told him he would inform the Speaker of any action he might take with regard to his MP position.

In Kota Kinabalu, State Speaker Hassan made the declaration on Yong’s Assemblyman status in a brief statement.

Met by reporters later, Hassan said the Federal Court’s decision meant that Yong had lost his position as an Assemblyman.

Asked if Yong was also disqualified from contesting in future elections, Hassan said that was for the Election Commission to determine.

“The decision I made on Datuk Yong’s position as the Likas Assemblyman was within my powers as the Speaker,” he said.

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Chong Kah Kiat told reporters that Hasan had briefed the State Cabinet on his decision.

Yong, in a statement issued in Kota Kinabalu, said his “work and service for the people of Likas and as the voice for the aspiration of the people” would continue.

The SAPP President, however, said he was curious as to why there was “such urgency” in declaring the Likas seat vacant.

“It also remains to be seen based on what official communication, other than newspaper reports, that the State Assembly declares a state seat vacant.

“After all there is a pending election petition (against the 2002 Likas by-election result) and the Election Court in Kota Kinabalu has yet to make a ruling or judgment on the validity of the Likas by-election,” said Yong.

Any declaration on the Likas seat, therefore, looks like pre-empting the Election Court, he added.-Bernama

Datuk Yong Teck Lee
Memberof Parliament for P150 Gaya / State Assemblyman for N13 Likas

Sabah BN preparing for Gaya by-election: CM
14 September, 2002

Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) is preparing for a by-election in the Gaya parliamentary seat, its Chairman Datuk Chong Kah Kiat said Friday.

Chong, who is Chief Minister, said it was highly likely that a by-election would be called following the Federal Court’s verdict on the incumbent Gaya MP Datuk Yong Teck Lee.

With the Federal Court’s decision he had exhausted all legal avenues over his case, he said.

“There should be a by-election for Gaya parliamentary seat,” he told reporters after presenting medals to winners of the Optimist competition of the Malaysia Games 2002 at the Kinabalu Yacht Club, near here.

Asked about the possibility of a royal pardon for Yong, the Chief Minister said, “Based on the advice of the State Attorney-General and the Federal Attorney-General, the question of a royal pardon does not apply to cases such as Yong’s.”

“The question of the King giving a pardon is not applicable in Yong’s case,” he added.

Legal adviser to the Election Commission, Badariah Hassan, was reported to have confirmed that a by-election would be held for the Gaya parliamentary seat.

The date for the by-election was expected to be announced soon.

On Sept 3, the Federal Court turned down Yong’s application for leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s decision to dismiss his appeal against the Election Court’s finding that he committed corrupt practices during the 1999 state election.

Yong, the President of Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), was on Wednesday declared no longer the Assemblyman for Likas.

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tun Dr Mohamed Zahir Ismail said Yong would automatically cease to be the Gaya MP two weeks after Sept 3, the day the Federal Court made known its decision.

Asked about the likely BN candidate, Yong said it would be announced when the time came.

“We have to wait for the Election Commission to make the announcement... we have the candidate, no problem with candidates. Obviously there will be discussions and we will be expecting a number of parties to request for the seat,” he said.

Chong said he was confident that the people would continue to show confidence in the BN.

He also said the people in Likas need not worry over the fact that they no longer had a representative in the State Assembly because “we will make sure that the whole State looks after Likas,” he said. - Bernama






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