Shafie checkmates Musa after a month

KOTA KINABALU: Beleaguered Tan Sri Musa Aman has been politically checkmated by his arch-rival Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (pic), say political observers.

After a month of political and legal manoeuvrings by both sides, the once all-powerful chief minister has lost his mandate to claim to be the rightful Chief Minister of Sabah.

Shafie has gained 43 seats or two-thirds support in the 64-member state assembly.

Local political observer Rahezzal Shah said it is now clear that Shafie has full control of the assembly and the state government.

“For the sake of stability, I think it’s time to move on. What is needed right now is a credible Opposition.

“Perhaps Musa can take the lead and regroup the Opposition and form a shadow Cabinet as soon as possible,” said Rahezzal, a UiTM political science lecturer.

“As for the legal case, it can be good as the court can give a clear direction if cases like this happen in future.

“The downside is that it will only prolong the political impasse,” he said.

However, Musa’s lawyers are hoping for a court decision to declare their client the rightful chief minister and reverse decisions made by Shafie since he took office on May 12.

Other observers said that Musa, who has been relieved of his duties as Sabah Umno and Sabah Barisan Nasional chairman, is making it more difficult to take back power as he is carrying out his fight in absentia since leaving Sabah on May 14.

Police are keen to record his statement in connection with a criminal intimidation threat against Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin just before he was sworn in on May 10.

Graft investigators are also looking for Musa in connection with a probe on assemblymen buying after the May 9 general election.

Musa remained missing yesterday as 19 of 21 opposition assemblymen took their oaths before Speaker Datuk Syed Abas Syed Ali, a day after they boycotted an emergency session of the state assembly that gave its full backing to Shafie as chief minister.

Musa, who is widely believed to be overseas, and Apas assemblyman Datuk Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan were absent at the low-­profile ceremony.

Politics , Sabah