A question is now posed by many is that whether the appointment of Tun Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi bin Tuanku Jaafar as the 8th Governor to replace Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, constitutional? The press mentioned that Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud resigned as governor ahead of the appointment of Tun Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi bin Tuanku Jaafar as the 8th Governor to replace him but, there seems no official announcement of this by the state government or by Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud himself.

In the absence of any official announcement, it was not sure whether Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud did or not resigned as governor. The people of Sarawak are kept in the dark. They have a right to know.

If Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud had not resigned and Tun Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi bin Tuanku Jaafar had received the Letter of Appointment or Watiqah from DYMM Agong, then, a constitutional issue arises. That is, whether the appointment, in the absence of official resignation by Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud addressed to DYMM Agong, made the appointment of Tun Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi bin Tuanku Jaafar by DYMM Agong, constitutional?

Under Article 1 (2) Sarawak Constitution, the Governor is appointed by DYMM Agong for a period of four years and the Governor can choose to resign before his term is over by tendering a letter to DYMM Agong. Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud term as governor shall only expire at the end of February, 2024.

Was Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud been removed as governor? Under Article 1(2) of the Sarawak Constitution, the removal of governor from office before his term expires could be made by DYMM Agong in pursuance of an address by the Dewan Undangan Negri supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of the total number of the members thereof.

The process of appointment of the governor is mentioned in Article 1(1) of the Sarawak Constitution. Although DYMM Agong has the power to appoint but the appointment could only be done with the consultation with the Chief Minister (Premier). It is noted that the Sarawak Constitution does not provide for any room for the prime minister to know or to interfere in the selection and appointment of the governor.

While premier and cabinet ministers were dumb concerning the replacement of Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud as governor, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said that the appointment process was presented by the Sarawak Premier and the prime minister confirmed that he had submitted Tan Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar's name to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as the successor to incumbent governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud– see MalayMail January 22, 2024.

The issue now is that why the prime minister came to know about the change of governor and was there interference by the prime minister leading to the appointment of Tun Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi bin Tuanku Jaafar as governor?

Talks are around that Premier and prime minister had took to themselves in deciding all things leading to the appointment of Tun Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi bin Tuanku Jaafar as the Sarawak Legislature had not debate on the matter.

Law and procedures have to be followed and respected else, failure to do so can lead to a dangerous political game.

VOON LEE SHAN
President Parti Bumi Kenyalang

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