Musa’s homecoming: Sabah waits with bated breath

Julia Chan
Seri Anggerik, Tan Sri Musa Aman’s hilltop mansion in the suburb of Luyang has been quiet since May.

KOTA KINABALU, Aug 22 — A majestic house atop a hill in Luyang here had a glimmer of light last night after months of being shrouded in darkness.

The porch lights of the Seri Anggerik mansion came on as if to welcome its owner, Tan Sri Musa Aman, back to the country.

But the house might have to wait a little longer for Musa as the former chief minister is receiving medical care in Kuala Lumpur for an illness that has rendered him too sick to return to the state in the last few months.

His return yesterday, on the eve of Hari Raya Aidiladha, has reignited political chatter about his future, but his political allies have been cautious about welcoming his return.

“I don’t want to speculate... let him recover from his medical condition first,” said Opposition leader Datuk Jeffrey Kitingan.

“But now that he is on Malaysian soil and is medically under treatment, people should stop insinuating. He didn’t run away,” said Kitingan.

The Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku Rakyat Sabah (STAR) president said that his return was a positive step for the parties that were aligned with Barisan Nasional (BN), and fighting for him to be declared as the rightful chief minister.

“Once he recovers and is well, he will definitely be able to be sworn in and lead the legitimate government,” Kitingan said, adding that he was planning to visit the former BN Sabah chairman in Kuala Lumpur.

Returning to Kuala Lumpur via a private jet yesterday, Musa was immediately admitted to a private hospital where he is expected to stay for a few more days.

An aide said Musa was ready to “address all outstanding issues despite health concerns”.

However, there has been an ominous silence from most of Musa’s political allies in Umno and Parti Bersatu Sabah over his return.

Sabah Umno secretary Datuk Masidi Manjun was among the few who responded to Malay Mail’s efforts to contact Umno leaders, and said he welcomed the leader’s recovery.

“Everyone is happy that he appears to be recovering,” said Masidi.

“The fact that he is well enough to travel back to Malaysia is already good news. We hope and pray for his recovery. Politics can wait,” he said.

But observers said it was imperative that Musa regain his strength to lead the Opposition, chiefly the 10 remaining Umno state assemblymen who have been debating whether to leave the party for a local coalition.

Musa is also expected to face several investigations, including for intimidating the Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin, a graft probe for allegedly buying the support of state assemblymen, and for breaking Immigration regulations when leaving the country.

Aside from that, there is also a court case which will determine whether or not he is the rightful chief minister of Sabah, to be heard on September 3.

Following the May 9 polls, Musa was sworn in as chief minister on May 10, but was later muscled out when six BN assemblymen defected to Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal’s camp.

The head of state had asked Musa to step down and make way for Shafie to be sworn in as chief minister but Musa refused, and left Sabah on May 14, the same day that Shafie clocked into work for the first time.

Musa was believed to have been in London for a majority of the time with his family, including Sipitang MP and son Yameni Hafez Musa, and missed three state assembly sittings. He is now due to be sworn in by September 11 or risks losing his Sungai Sibuga seat.

The deadline is shortly after Musa’s court case against the head of state and Shafie, to declare the latter’s swearing-in unconstitutional and maintain himself as the rightful chief minister.

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