KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Assembly Speaker Datuk Kadzim Yahaya has rejected a pre-signed letter from Hassan Amir Gani stating he would be stepping down as Sebatik assemblyman.
With the Speaker's decision, Hassan, who left Parti Warisan Sabah to support Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS), remains as Sebatik assemblyman.
"I have perused the letter of resignation handed over by Parti Warisan Sabah and the statutory declaration by Sebatik assemblyman revoking all that he agreed with Warisan.
"I have decided that there is no vacancy in the Sebatik seat, because a pre-signed undated resignation is void and against public policy, as far as the law stands now.
"Hence I am not bound to accept it," said Kadzim at a brief press conference.
Warisan had invoked a letter of resignation Hassan had pre-signed before he was given the party's candidacy in the Sept 26 state election last year.
This comes after Hassan sent a statutory declaration to Kadzim at about 11.45am on Tuesday (March 2) as well as later, at around 12.15pm, when Warisan secretary-general Datuk Loretto Padua submitted the pre-signed letter.
Hassan submitted the statutory declaration "revoking and withdrawing" all pre-signed resignation letters he had committed to Warisan before becoming its candidate for last year's snap Sabah election.
"Hassan told me that he has no intention to resign as assemblyman," said Kadzim.
On Feb 25, Hassan announced he was leaving Warisan to pledge his support to the GRS state government.
Following this, Warisan president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal on March 1 said the party was considering legal action against Hassan for defecting.
Shafie noted that Hassan had taken an oath to stay with the party if he was elected as an assemblyman – at least until the state assembly was dissolved – and purportedly agreed to resign from his post if he breached his promise.
Shafie said lawyers and witnesses were present when the letter was pre-signed and when Hassan took the oath in September last year.
Hassan posted on his Facebook account that his pre-signed resignation letter was done under duress and was thus invalid.
He said he had signed it because he would not have been selected as a candidate for the state election otherwise.