Musa suing Shafie, Yayasan Sabah for RM1 bil over ‘land grab’ claim

(FMT) – Former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman has hit out at his successor Shafie Apdal over his allegation that Musa and his family members had secured a 100-year contract for land that belonged to Yayasan Sabah.

Musa said he had no choice but to take legal action over the Warisan president’s allegation, adding that he was suing Shafie and Yayasan Sabah for RM1 billion for defamation.

“Shafie should stop spreading lies and pursuing his vendetta against me since I am not standing in the upcoming state election and am, therefore, no longer a threat to him,” he said in a statement.

“While I understand his need to make rousing political speeches on his campaign trail, to repeatedly tell blatant lies is shameful and unbecoming of a state leader, let alone by someone who has ambitions of becoming the prime minister.”

Musa described Shafie’s allegation, which he described as “malicious and unfounded” and intended to tarnish his reputation.

He said it was impossible for land under Yayasan Sabah to “go missing” or be given to a third party as it came under one “licence” and under the protection of the Yayasan Sabah Enactment 1966.

Such land, he said, could only be taken out of the foundation’s ownership for government use and conservation purposes, citing the Danum Valley and Imbak Canyon as examples.

“No less than 700,000ha of Yayasan Sabah land is categorised under Totally Protected Areas,” he said.

“Only 250,000ha of Yayasan Sabah have been licensed under Forest Rules.

“Hence, Shafie has been lying through his teeth because the 700,000ha of Yayasan Sabah land are still there and not missing, as claimed.

“In spite of having the individuals in question publicly deny the allegations and widely reported in the mainstream and online media, he continues to spread such slander.”

On Shafie’s accusation that Musa had also approved Yayasan Sabah licensee contracts, he said the Warisan president should know that it was not the chief minister who approved these but the foundation’s board of trustees.

“Instead of focusing so much on me, he should tell the people why Warisan should lead Sabah and why you should be chosen to helm the government,” he said.

“As a leader, you should focus on what you have achieved and what more you can offer to the people.

“Improving the infrastructure, the economy, providing jobs and business opportunities and putting food on the table should be on his agenda.”