Talks of Musa making second bid to topple Shafie resurfaces in Sabah

( – Fresh political talks are resurfacing in Sabah about moves to unseat the Parti Warisan Sabah-led state government of Chief Minister Datuk Mohd Shafie Apdal.

State Perikatan Nasional sources indicated that former Sabah Barisan Nasional chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman has “secured or is close to” securing a simple majority in the 65-member state assembly.

The Sabah Perikatan partners with 20 assemblymen – Sabah Umno, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), Sabah STAR, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and three independent assemblymen are expecting to complete last month’s fizzled out attempt to topple Shafie.

The sources claimed that Musa, the 67-year-old Sungai Sibuga assemblyman, was close to, if not already secured commitment from at least 14 assemblymen from the state government consisting of Warisan, PKR, DAP and Upko.

However, it was learned from sources that the move by Musa was being done by way of signed statutory declarations.

The source claimed that once the numbers were confirmed, Musa would seek an audience with Yang DiPertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin at Istana for consent to be sworn in.

However, sources said that the situation could become complicated, as Warisan president Shafie also holds fresh statutory declarations of support from 45 assemblymen who are currently with his government.

“This could lead to complications, and it may not be easy for Musa to make his bid,” said a political source.

Musa, who was ousted by Shafie after the 14th general election in 2018, made a bid for a return to power shortly after the prosecution dropped all 46 corruption and money laundering charges against him.

Talks of the mass crossovers fizzled out with only two Upko assemblymen – Datuk Limus Jury (Kuala Penyu) and Datuk James Ratib (Sugud) – leaving the ruling party and coalition to become independents aligned to Perikatan on June 15.

Musa, who returned to Kota Kinabalu over the last two days, is believed to be meeting up with assemblymen aligned with Perikatan, as well as some of the assemblymen currently with Shafie’s government.

The sources said that it was not clear if Musa was making his bid for the Chief Minister post as a Sabah Umno member, or whether he would become a member of Sabah Bersatu.

Shafie’s Warisan currently holds 33 seats, and his partners DAP (7), Upko (3) and PKR (2) seats, while the opposition of Sabah Bersatu has nine seats, PBS (four), Sabah STAR (3), Sabah Umno (1) and three independents.

Shafie, the Semporna MP, is currently in Kuala Lumpur to attend Parliament.