KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Assembly Speaker Datuk Kadzim Yahaya has rejected the pre-signed resignation letter of Sebatik assemblyman Hassan Amir Gani, who quit Parti Warisan Sabah to support the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah government.
With the Speaker’s decision not to declare a vacancy for Sebatik, Hassan will remain an independent assemblyman.
“I have perused the letter of resignation handed over by Warisan and the statutory declaration by Sebatik assemblyman, revoking all that he agreed with Warisan.
“I have decided that there is no vacancy in Sebatik 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, ” he told a press conference over the move by Warisan to invoke Hassan’s pre-signed letter of resignation before he was given the party’s candidacy in the Sept 26 state elections last year.
“I have no intention to pursue or take action based on what Hassan has promised Warisan previously.
“If Warisan is not satisfied with Hassan for breaking his pledges, the party can take the necessary action, including a civil suit, ” said Kadzim.
He said his concern was on the validity of the pre-signed and undated letter, which in his opinion was ineffective.
“Warisan said all other candidates signed such letters, then why was there no date?” he said.
Kadzim said according to current laws, the assemblyman involved must write the letter and send it to the Speaker on his own if he wished to resign.
“So I can’t make a decision that is breaching the current law, ’’ he said, adding that the law should be amended or a new Act drafted to prevent party-hopping.
This came after Hassan sent a statutory declaration to Kadzim on Tuesday, “revoking and withdrawing” all pre-signed resignation letters he committed to Warisan before becoming its candidate for the snap state elections.
On Feb 25, Hassan announced that he had quit Warisan and following this, Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said the party was mulling legal action against Hassan for defecting.
Shafie said lawyers and witnesses were present when the letter was pre-signed when Hassan took the oath in September last year.
Separately, Warisan said the party would take urgent legal steps to compel the Speaker to accept Hassan’s resignation and vacate the seat.
Warisan secretary-general Datuk Loretto Padua said their lawyers had documents that clearly indicated Hassan’s agreement in the event he quit the party.
Padua said Hassan had also willingly signed a letter of allegiance to Warisan.
“Warisan is saddened by the Speaker’s decision not to accept Hassan’s resignation and will take legal recourse immediately, ” he said in a statement.
He said in a letter dated Sept 10,2020 to his lawyers, Hassan instructed them to submit his resignation letter to the Speaker and the Head of State in the event that he, among others, declares himself an independent before or after being sworn in as an assemblyman.
Earlier, Warisan released a video of Hassan declaring his oath of allegiance to the party in the name of God, saying he would remain with the party until the end of the term.
Padua said all Warisan candidates made the pledge of loyalty to the party voluntarily with no element of coercion.