Just before the Tadau Kaamatan Festival this end May, Musa Aman had invited ALL Sabah Barisan National Youth Leaders for a meeting. The meeting was basically to gather support for Musa Aman to continue as Chief Minister, in an attempt to retain a hold on the state.
The Barisan Youth Leaders would come out with statements in support and prove loyalty to Musa Aman in public displays of self-flagellation for Musa to remain as Chief Minister. It is also to send a clear message to premier Najib Tun Razak that Sabah Barisan National do not want Musa Aman to be dropped as Chief Minister. Sabah needs Musa Aman.
Then today in a statement, Sabah Umno Youth had urged premier Najib Abdul Razak to seriously consider a cabinet post for the movement’s national chief Khairy Jamaluddin the son in law of former premier Pak Lah.
Musa’s boys decided Najib had to be cut down to size to protect their leader; and what better way than to use Khairy the SIL who is most hated by Rosmah, Najib and his mentor The Mahathir. And so Khairy, the UMNO Youth Chief is proposed for a cabinet post and a proxy war launched by Musa Aman against Najib.
A ground revolt, disgusted at the attempt to shorten Musa’s odds to control Sabah, made sure of it. Najib does not control Sabah. UMNO Sabah does. But many Sabah UMNO Division kingpins are indebted to Musa. The Sabah UMNO Division chiefs, though supported by Musa Aman financially via kickbacks and contracts, is in revolt. There is a split. The defiance of at least eight Ketua Bahagian align to Datuk Shafie Apdal has spilled over.
Then you have Sabah BN which is dissatisfied with Kuala Lumpur’s secret negotiations with Brunei over the Limbang fiasco and the losing of Sabah’s oil-rich Block L and Block M on the process.
Najib is now worried if removing Musa Aman as Sabah Chief might make other UMNO chaps turn against him. Can he afford this? But he knows that to be in charge, he has to destroy Musa Aman, the unlikely flag-bearer of the Pak Lah insurrection. Najib knows that Musa Aman was only Pak Lah’s pawn to bring him down during Pak Lah’s era so that Pak Lah could continue as premier and make way for Khairy Jamaluddin to become the youngest Prime Minister of Malaysia.
There is little love lost between Musa Aman and Dato’ Seri Najib. The Najib camp in Sabah is in disarray. Najib’s prefered choice to head Sabah UMNO, the federal cabinet minister, Dato Shafie Apdal does not have the kind of cloud and money Musa has, which is in a tune of US$ 3 Billion.
The Sabah UMNO crisis has got out of hand. Dato’ Seri Musa is Pak Lah’s man in the state. But the growing revolt against him, mainly from his unalloyed ambition to be the power in the state, his arrogance, his belief that he is Sabah UMNO and Sabah UMNO he, foments a revolt.
The infighting in Sabah UMNO over the next chief minister is not easily resolved. UMNO in the state has more factions than colours in a rainbow. Besides, the non-Malay tribes, the Kadazandusun, and others, resent being told, after the Saturday 8 March, 2008, 12th General Elections, that the chief minister in future will be from UMNO. If Dato’ Seri Musa is ousted, it weakens Sabah BN yet more as Datuk Pairin Kitingan of Parti Bersatu Sabah may claim the Chief Ministership of Sabah which rightly belongs to him. And Datuk Seri Pairin Kitingan “posthumously” conferred the Tan Sri tittle by the Yang di Pertuan Agong has anything to do with this?