Ex-Sabah CM faces uncertain political future

  • Nation
  • Monday, 11 Jul 2005

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Umno chief Datuk Musa Aman will meet debt-saddled Datuk Osu Sukam to discuss the former chief minister’s political future, including asking him to resign as Papar division chief. 

Musa said he wanted to meet Osu to hear him out over a London Court decision ordering him to pay RM7.14mil gambling debts chalked up at the Ritz Hotel Casino. 

“I will discuss with him (about his resignation),” said Chief Minister Musa when asked if he would request Osu to step down. 

“I will be asking him to explain. Being a veteran party member, I believe, he will understand the position he is in now and the requirements of the party,” Musa told a packed press conference late last night on his return from a weeklong working visit to Japan. 

He expected to meet up with Osu within the week, he said, adding that he would submit a report on the meeting to party president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. 

Osu: Owes a gambling debt of RM7.14mil to the Ritz Hotel Casino in London

Abdullah had earlier described Osu as a “failed leader” but said he would let Sabah Umno to decide on his fate.  

Soon after his arrival here, Musa had a brief discussion with the state Umno liaison committee.  

Musa said Osu was now in Kuala Lumpur and there was no need for Sabah Umno to meet again to discuss the issue. 

The chips are down for the man from Kampung Kawang who rose fast in the now-defunct Usno and later in Umno to become Papar MP and a federal minister. 

Osu, 56, was Land and Co-operative Development Minister before becoming Sabah’s 11th chief minister from 1999 to 2001.  

State Umno deputy chief Datuk Shafie Apdal said the liaison committee would have to forward its suggestion to the Umno disciplinary board after hearing Osu’s explanation.  

Shafie said Sabah Umno had no power to decide on the case.  

“This is the normal process so that the decision taken will not pose problems to Umno.” 

Umno Youth secretary Datuk Rahman Dahlan asked for tough action, saying the Anti-Corruption Agency should investigate the case if needed. 

Several other state leaders think that it is a moral obligation for Osu to resign.  

“It is only a civil case. He has not been declared a bankrupt,” said an Umno lawyer here, adding that there was nothing much the Umno disciplinary board could do if the former Umno supreme council member decided not to quit.  

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