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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Uncertainly over rightful CM remains, Musa can still appeal, says analyst

PETALING JAYA - A political analyst says uncertainty remains over the issue of who the rightful Sabah chief minister is despite yesterday’s High Court ruling in favour of Shafie Apdal.

Independent analyst Kamarul Zaman Yusoff said this was because Musa Aman could still file an appeal at the higher courts.

“The seemingly good performance of Shafie as chief minister and the corruption charges against Musa are irrelevant as this is purely a legal and technical matter,” he told FMT.

The High Court yesterday rejected an application by Musa to restore him as the Sabah chief minister, and allowed Shafie, who is the Warisan leader, to continue leading the state six months after both were sworn in for the top post following the May 9 election.

Musa said he would appeal, adding that the issues surrounding the constitutionality of Shafie’s appointment in May had not been fully resolved.

Kamarul said the only definite thing was that Musa no longer had the majority in the state assembly even if he was declared the rightful chief minister.

“However, knowing the nature of Sabah politics, it is possible that crossovers might happen again,” he added.

Even if Musa was reinstated as chief minister, he said, it might not be for long as he would be disqualified if he is convicted of corruption.

Asked about Umno’s fate in Sabah following the court’s judgment on Musa, Kamarul said it would be hard for the party to survive.

“History shows that once you are out of power, it is hard for you to survive. This goes for Sabah Umno, but it can still harbour hope of regaining power if the higher courts side with Musa.”

Another political analyst, James Chin, said yesterday’s judgment showed that Umno in Sabah was “no more”.

“Shafie is now politically secure for some time. This is a good outcome for Sabah as it will promote stability.”

He said it would be even more difficult for Musa to oust Shafie now as more people would abandon him, adding that more assemblymen were likely to defect to Warisan.

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak deputy dean Arnold Puyok said the people appeared willing to move on with Shafie as chief minister.

He said they just wanted an end to the episode as they were tired of the fights among Sabah’s top politicians.

Awang Azman Awang Pawi of Universiti Malaya said the court’s decision to reject Musa was expected.

He does not expect major changes in Sabah’s political scenario.

“I think there won’t be a dispute over the court’s decision, but even if there is, it will not impact Shafie’s position as the rightful chief minister.”

By Nurul Azwa Aris and Faiz Zainudin

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