Musa Aman's continued absence could lead to loss of state seat

KOTA KINABALU: A political “wait and see" game is still on as to whether the once all-powerful chief minister of Sabah Tan Sri Musa Aman will lose his Sungai Sibuga seat.

Musa, the former Sabah Umno chairman, will have until Tuesday (Aug 14) to turn up and take his oath as an assemblyman of the Sabah Legislative Assembly.

Despite a letter sent by Musa to state Speaker Datuk Syed Abas Syed Ali requesting more time on health grounds, Musa could lose his seat for failing to turn up for the third consecutive session of the assembly.

Musa, who says he is in United Kingdom, failed to attend the first session that was held on June 11 and the second that began on July 1.

Syed Abas remained cautious when reporters approached him and declined to say whether he will be accepting or rejecting Musa’s request for more time to take his oath.
He said that they will be guided by the constitution.

Under Article 18(2) of the state constitution, a seat can be declared vacant if an assemblyman fails to turn up for three consecutive sessions.

A seat can also be declared vacant under Article 22(2) if an assemblyman fails to take his oath within three months of the first sitting. That would give Musa up till Sept 11.

Some officials have argued that the first session on June 11 was considered an emergency session and as such the July 1 session should be considered the first session.

If the July 1 meeting is considered as the first session, then Musa will have an Oct 1 deadline by which to take his oath.

The Speaker has yet to make an official statement on this.

According to officials, Musa's fate will likely be decided by the 64 member state assembly that is controlled by his arch rival Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

Musa, who claimed to be the rightfully chief minister through his May 10 appointmen, left Malaysia on May 17 for United Kingdom and has since only communicated through his lawyers.

He has mounted a legal challenge against Yang Di Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin’s May 12 appointment of Shafie. 

The court is expected to decide on the legal challenge on Sept 3.

Musa Aman , State Seat , Wait and See Game