Musa Aman the only rep absent at Sabah Assembly's budget session

KOTA KINABALU: Former chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman (pic) stayed away from the Sabah Legislative Assembly, as his successor and arch political rival Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal delivered his maiden state Budget for 2019.

Musa, the Sungai Sibuga assemblyman, lost his legal claim that he is the rightful chief minister of Sabah on Wednesday (Nov 7).

He was the only assemblyman of the 65-member house to be absent on Friday (Nov 9).

The reasons of his absence are unclear though he has returned to Sabah and remained here since Wednesday, when the High Court dismissed his suit seeking a declaration that he is Sabah’s rightful chief minister.

He has not been seen in public here since his return and has remained at his private residence Seri Anggerik in Kota Kinabalu.

On Monday (Nov 5), Musa was slapped with 35 charges of corruption for accepting about RM243mil in bribes to approve logging deals while he was the previous Sabah chief minister.

He was charged at the Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur and granted bail.

Musa had been away from Sabah for the last six months since he left the state on May 14 this year shortly after the elections.

He only returned for a 10-hour stopover to Kota Kinabalu on Sept 5 to be sworn in as an assemblyman.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan could not say why Musa did not turn up at the assembly, but believed that he was leaving the state on Saturday (Nov 10) for Kuala Lumpur.

When asked about his absence, Shafie said Musa was free to do what he wanted and that Parti Warisan Sabah and its partners must move forward.

“We have work to do bring development to Sabah. We have been accused of being an illegal government. The courts have decided. We have to serve the rakyat,” he added.

Musa's opponents in government speculated he might not want to attend the budget sitting next week, as he could be feeling uneasy sitting in the opposition bench after being the chief minister for 15 years till he was ousted in the May 9 general election.