Sabah State Legislative Assembly

The Sabah State Legislative Assembly (Malay: Dewan Undangan Negeri Sabah, Kadazandusun: Langga' Tinukuan Pogun Sabah) is a part of the legislature of Sabah, Malaysia, the other being the governor of Sabah. The assembly meets at the Sabah State Legislative Assembly Building at Likas in the state capital of Kota Kinabalu.

Sabah State Legislative Assembly

Dewan Undangan Negeri Sabah
ديوان اوندڠن نڬري سابه
Langga' Tinukuan Pogun Sabah
16th Assembly
Insignia of Sabah State Legislative Assembly
Founded1950 as Majlis Undangan
25 September 1963 as Dewan Undangan Negeri
Yang di-Pertua Negeri
Juhar Mahiruddin
since 1 January 2011
Kadzim M. Yahya
since 8 October 2020
Deputy Speaker
Ahmad Abdul Rahman
since 7 June 2018
Deputy Speaker
George Anthony Ginibun
since 26 June 2018
Hajiji Noor, GRS
since 29 September 2020
Rafidah binti Maqbool Rahman
Deputy Secretary
Mohd Jayreh bin Jaya
Seats73 elected and up to 6 nominated
Political groups
(As of 29 January 2023)

Government (44)
  GRS (29)

  BN (5)

  •   UMNO (5 MLA from Tanjung Keramat, Pantai Dalit, Sugut, Sindumin and Tempasuk)

  PH (7)

  PN (1)

  PHRS (1)
  Independent (1)

Opposition (35)
  WARISAN (19)
  BN (13)

  •   UMNO (13)

  KDM (3)


  • Standing Committee
  • Public Accounts Committee
  • Committee of Privileges
Last election
26 September 2020
Next election
by 9 December 2025
Meeting place
Sabah State Legislative Assembly Building, Likas, Kota Kinabalu
Map of Sabah state constituencies (since 2020)

This unicameral legislature currently has 73 seats representing state constituencies elected through a first-past-the-post electoral system across the state.

Like at the federal level in Malaysia, Sabah uses a Westminster-style parliamentary government, in which members are elected to the legislative assembly through general elections, from which the chief minister and the cabinet are appointed based on majority support. The chief minister is head of government, while the governor acts as head of state. The largest party not forming the government is known as the official opposition, its leader being recognised as leader of the opposition by the speaker.

Members of the assembly refer to themselves as "Members of the Legislative Assembly" (MLAs) and sometimes as "state assemblymen".

The most recent assembly was elected on 26 September 2020. 73 members were elected into the 16th Sabah State Legislative Assembly. As permitted by the State Constitution, the Governor may add six more as nominated MLAs. Gabungan Rakyat Sabah coalition consisting of Perikatan Nasional (PN), Barisan Nasional (BN) and United Sabah Party (PBS) formed the government on 29 September 2020.


In accordance with the traditions of the Westminster system, most laws originate with the cabinet (government bills), and are passed by the legislature after stages of debate and decision-making. Ordinary members may introduce privately (private members' bills), play an integral role in scrutinising bills in debate and committee and amending bills presented to the legislature by cabinet.


Chair occupants

Chair occupants of the assembly are appointed by the governor on the chief minister's advice. Kadzim M. Yahya (BN-UMNO) has been the speaker since 8 October 2020.[2] He is assisted by two Deputy Speakers, Ahmad Abdul Rahman (WARISAN) who was appointed on 7 June 2018[3][4] and George Anthony Ginibun (WARISAN) who was appointed on 26 June 2018.[5][6]

Majority leader

The majority leader is always the chief minister, who also leads the Cabinet. He is appointed by the Governor on the basis that he is able to command a majority in the assembly. Hajiji Noor (BERSATU), MLA for Sulaman, has been the chief minister since 29 Sep 2020.

Minority leader

The minority leader is always the leader of the opposition appointed by the largest party not forming the government. Following the defeat of Warisan Plus coalition in the recent state election, Mohd. Shafie Apdal (WARISAN), MLA for Senallang, becomes leader of the Opposition.


Speaker and Deputy Speaker

The Governor, on the advice of the Chief Minister, appoints one person from the membership of the Assembly or, in deviation from traditional Westminster practices, from non-members who are qualified to be elected as members of the Assembly, as the presiding officer of the Assembly, known as the Speaker, and another person from the membership of the Assembly to be Deputy Speaker. The lengths of their service are specified by the letters patent that appointed them; however, their term may end premature if they no longer qualify for the membership of the Assembly, they resign, or the Governor terminates their speakership on the advice of the Chief Minister. The Speaker is also disqualified from the chair if they have any personal interest in another organisation; the Deputy Speaker does not need to vacate their office if they have such interests, but is barred from presiding over any matter that affects their interests.

The Speaker or Deputy Speaker presides from a chair at the front of the chamber (opposite the entrance). A member who believes that a rule (or Standing Order) has been breached may raise a point of order, on which the Speaker makes a ruling that is not subject to any appeal. The Speaker may discipline members who fail to observe the rules of the Assembly. The Speaker or Deputy Speaker remain members of their respective parties while holding the speakership, but they are required by convention to act impartially while presiding over the Assembly. A Speaker or Deputy Speaker who is also an elected member of the Assembly retain voting rights, but by convention does not vote in proceedings they preside over except to break a tie, only doing so according to Speaker Denison's rule.

The following are the Speakers of the Sabah State Legislative Assembly since 1963:[7]

No. Speaker Term start Term end Party Constituency
1 Sir George N. Oehlers 23 September 1963 22 September 1964 IND Non-MLA
2 Haji Mohd. Kassim Haji Hashim 23 September 1964 24 September 1975
3 Abdul Momin Haji Kalakhan 24 September 1975 10 May 1978
4 Haji Mohd. Sunoh Marso 11 May 1978 29 March 1986 BERJAYA Lahad Datu
5 Pandikar Amin Haji Mulia 31 March 1986 30 November 1987 BN (USNO) Non-MLA
6 Haji Hassan Alban Sandukong 8 December 1987 4 December 2002 Non-MLA
7 Juhar bin Haji Mahiruddin 5 December 2002 31 December 2010 BN (UMNO) Non-MLA
8 Salleh Said Keruak 31 December 2010 28 July 2015 BN (UMNO) Non-MLA
9 Syed Abas Syed Ali 7 August 2015 6 October 2020 BN (UMNO) Balung
10 Kadzim M Yahya 8 October 2020 Incumbent BN (UMNO) Non-MLA

Secretary and Deputy Secretary

The Secretary and Deputy Secretary of the Legislative Assembly are civil servants that serve as the chief advisers of procedural matters, as well as head the day-to-day administration of the Assembly. They serve a similar role to the Clerk of the House of Commons in the United Kingdom, advising the Speaker on the rules and procedure of the Assembly, signing orders and official communications, and signing and endorsing bills. They are permanent officials and not members of the Assembly. The Governor has the sole power to appoint or remove them.

Other officers

The Serjeant-at-Arms maintains the law, order and security of the Assembly, within the chamber and on the premises of the Assembly building. The Serjeant-at-Arms also carries the ceremonial mace, a symbol of the authority of the Governor and of the Legislative Assembly, into the chamber each day in front of the Speaker, and the mace is laid upon the Table of the Assembly during sittings.


The Legislative Assembly uses committees for a variety of purposes, e.g. for the review of bills. Committees consider bills in detail, and may make amendments. Bills of great constitutional importance, as well as some important financial measures, are usually committed to the Committee of the Whole House, a body that includes all members of the Assembly. This committee sits in the main chamber itself.

Committees can also be created for any purpose – these are known as Select Committees. However, the Select Committees of the Assembly primarily handle administrative matters of the chamber. For example, the Selection and Standing Orders Committee meet to select members of other committees as well as consider changes to the Standing Orders; the Public Petitions Committee handles petitions of any matter from the public; and the Privileges Committee considers questions of parliamentary privilege, as well as matters relating to the conduct of the members.[8] Committees need to be re-established at the beginning of each term.[9]

By party affliliation.

List of Assemblies

Assembly Term
Members Election Cabinet Majority party/coalition
1st 1963 Appointed Fuad I Sabah Alliance
2nd 1965 Peter Lo Su Yin I Sabah Alliance
3rd 1967 32 Mustapha I Sabah Aliance
4th 1971 32 Mustapha II (1971–1975)
Said I (1975–1976)
Sabah Aliance (1971–1973)
Barisan Nasional (1973–1976)
5th 1976 48 Fuad II (1976)
Haris II (1976–1981)
6th 1981 48 Haris II Barisan Nasional
7th 1985 48 Joseph I PBS–PASOK
8th 1986 48 Joseph II Barisan Nasional
9th 1990 48 Joseph III Gagasan Rakyat
10th 1994 48 Joseph IV (1994)
Sakaran I (1994)
Salleh I (1994–1996)
Yong Teck Lee I (1996–1998)
Bernard I (1998–1999)
Gagasan Rakyat (1994)
Barisan Nasional (1994–1999)
11th 1999 48 Sukam I (1999–2001)
Chong Kah Kiat I (2001–2003)
Musa I (2003–2004)
Barisan Nasional
12th 2004 60 Musa II Barisan Nasional
13th 2008 60 Musa III Barisan Nasional
14th 2013 60 Musa IV Barisan Nasional
15th 2018 60 Musa V (2018)
Shafie I (2018–2020)
Barisan Nasional (2018)
Warisan–PH–UPKO (2018–2020)
16th 2020 73 Hajiji I Gabungan Rakyat Sabah
  • PN–BN–PBS (2020–2022)
  • GRS–BN (2022–2023)
  • GRS–BN (5 seats)–PH (2023–)

See also



    1. Standing Orders of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Sabah (PDF). Retrieved 26 May 2016. Standing Orders 89, 90 and 91.
    2. Kamalul Arifin, Syah Hairizal (8 October 2020). "Pentadbiran Hajiji lengkap hari ini". Astro Awani (in Malay). Retrieved 8 October 2020.
    3. "Ahmad angkat sumpah Timbalan Speaker DUN Sabah" (in Malay). Utusan Borneo. 7 June 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
    4. "Lawyer named Deputy Speaker". Daily Express. 8 June 2018. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
    5. Muguntan Vanar (26 June 2018). "George Ginibun appointed the second Sabah deputy Speaker". The Star. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
    6. "Ginibun is made Deputy Speaker". Daily Express. 27 June 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
    7. "Senarai Speaker Dewan Undangan Negeri".
    8. (in Malay). Dewan Undangan Negeri Sabah.
    9. "Standing Orders of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Sabah (PDF)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 June 2016.
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