Bid to topple Shafie goes cold for now

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 23 Jul 2020

KOTA KINABALU: A second push by former chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman to snatch back the reins of the state government from Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (pic) seems to have gone cold for now.

Amidst a spate of denials and police reports by assemblymen linked to the Parti Warisan Sabah-led state coalition government over the last 72 hours, Shafie remained in control while an air of quiet descended in the camp of his political nemesis Musa.

Key names in the purported defection list have come out publicly to deny signing statutory declarations supporting Musa for the chief minister's post.

Musa is working with 19 fellow opposition assemblymen from Perikatan Nasional parties in the state to get at least 13 government assemblymen to cross the floor for a simple 33-seat majority in the state assembly.

He is the lone Sabah Umno assemblyman in the state assembly and had been the chief minister for the 15 years Barisan Nasional held the state until 2018.

Perikatan sources had been claiming that 14 to 16 assemblymen had signed the statutory declarations in support of Musa reclaiming the chief minister's post.

However, it is believed that one or two government-linked assemblymen who have remained silent so far are likely to stay on with the Perikatan camp as independents.

It is understood that the Perikatan camp has not been able to meet up with Yang DiPertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin to discuss the possibility of the change in government.

Since late Wednesday (July 22), government assemblymen from Warisan, DAP, Upko and PKR have been denying social media reports of their purported cross-over.

The assemblymen also accused middlemen of acting for Perikatan parties of making offers of government positions and money, and three assemblymen have lodged police reports over the alleged “enticement” incidents.

On Thursday (July 23), Sabah PKR vice-chairman Kenny Chua, who was among those widely claimed to have supported Musa, said that he did not sign any statutory documents to support Musa.

“The only statutory document I signed was to support Shafie,” he said in adding that he was fully behind PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Apart from Chua, other assemblymen including Gum-Gum assemblyman Arunarnsin Taib and Sabah DAP’s Ronnie Loh among others have come to make statements to re-confirm their support for Warisan.

On Wednesday, DAP’s Jannie Lasimbang (Kapayan), Calvin Chong Elopura), Ginger Phoong (Luyang), Tan Lee Fatt (Likas) and Warisan’s Ben Chong (Tanjung Kapor), as well as Anita Baranting (Tandek) also denied that they had any part in the movement out of the party

Musa, who claims to be the rightful chief minister of Sabah, is appealing at the Federal Court his dismissal suit against Juhar and Shafie. He lost his suit at the High Court and Court of Appeal.

On June 15, two government-linked assemblymen from Upko left but it failed to trigger further defections as the remaining 45 assemblymen pledged their support to Shafie and also signed statutory declarations.

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