KOTA KINABALU, Sept 4 ― Politicians on both sides of the divide are waiting to see if embattled former chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman will be able to make it back in time to be sworn in as assemblyman.
Although his deadline is on September 11, this Friday could be the last day for him to be sworn in as Sungai Sibuga assemblyman before the state goes into a long weekend, with September 10 and 11 being the Agong’s birthday and Awal Muharram holidays respectively.
Under Article 22 (2) of the Sabah Constitution, a state seat can be declared vacant if an elected assemblyman fails to take his oath within three months of the state legislative assembly’s first sitting after the polls.
Sabah Speaker Datuk Syed Abas Syed Ali has confirmed that Musa, who has been warded at a private hospital in Subang Jaya for a heart condition since returning from the United Kingdom on August 21, has until September 11.
There has been no word from his media liaison or political friends of his return, although those who did venture to reply were “sure” he would make it back in time.
A source said that Musa, who is the Sabah Umno chairman, was almost certain to be able to be sworn in, and it was just a matter of when.
“I’ve heard he will come back soon – within the next few days. I’m sure they are doing everything they can to get him sworn in on time. What matters most is his health, politics can come later,” said the source.
Another Umno source said there was no reason to worry that the former Barisan Nasional (BN) state chairman was in danger of losing his seat as his medical condition was a good reason to defer his deadline.
“For medical reasons I think they can make an exemption. He is being warded in the hospital and not hiding. I believe they will be considerate towards him,” said the source.
Efforts to contact the State speaker went unanswered.
Following a razor thin victory in the last general election, Musa was sworn in as chief minister on May 10 but within two days, six BN assemblymen gave their support to Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.
In an unprecedented move, the Head of State Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin then asked Musa to step down to make way for Shafie to be sworn but Musa refused.
Regardless, Shafie took his oath as chief minister on May 12.
Musa now faces investigation by the police for criminal intimidation against the Head of State and by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission for allegedly buying the support of state assemblymen.