Sabah Umno members expected to quit and join PBS to be more 'local'

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 12 May 2018

KOTA KINABALU: Tan Sri Musa Aman (pic) is expected to quit Umno but is still holding on to Chief Minister's position in a fast changing political situation in Sabah.
The move comes as most Sabah Umno assemblymen are expected to quit the party and regroup under Party Bersatu Sabah, which is meeting now (Saturday, May 12, since 2pm) to decide on whether to leave Barisan Nasional.
Sources explained that Musa and senior Umno leaders decided to "realign" their platform by joining PBS.
PBS is then likely to try forge an understanding with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Pakatan Harapan (that has already formed the federal government).
The sources said that it was in line with the people’s wishes that Sabah should be led by Sabah-based political parties as the general election results showed that there was resentment of Umno in the state.
Political analysts said that the move was an attempt to strengthen Musa’s grip on power.
Musa lost his majority in the state assembly within 24-hours after being sworn in on Thursday.
Musa's latest move comes amidst the claim Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal was set to be sworn in at 9pm Saturday (May 12).
However, it is understood that Musa has not resigned as chief minister. This would be constitutionally required before the Yang DiPertua Negeri (Head of State), Tun Juhar Mahiruddin, can swear in a new Chief Minister.
Musa has only 25 assemblymen left in the 60-seat state assembly. But he can refuse to resign and wait for a vote of no confidence in the state assembly, according to legal sources.
Tun Juhar, a lawyer and senior Umno politician prior to becoming Sabah's Head of State, is believed to be studying the latest Sabah political developments before making any decision on the Chief Minister’s post as the political crisis drags into the third day.
Earlier on Saturday (May 12), Musa held a 30-minute closed door meeting with Tun Juhar, State Secretary Tan Sri Sukarti Wakiman and State Attorney-General Zaleha Rose Pandin.
It was not clear what transpired during the meeting but Musa went ahead to hold his first state cabinet meeting at his office at the Sabah State Administrative Complex.
No statements were made. It is believed that Musa had failed to get approval for his proposed six nominated assemblymen (allowed under the Sabah state constitution).
Officials including Sukarti and Zaleha remained tight lipped over Musa’s meeting with Tun Juhar.
Musa has also kept silent, giving a sense to many Sabahans that the state government issue has yet to be resolved. 
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