There are good leaders and bad leaders in every society, just like good guys and bad guys. That is why I try my best at any opportunity to appreciate and praise the goodness in some people and give credit when a credit is due to some although they are not so good leaders. It is in human nature that those who do good are always remembered with fond memory for a very long time. The bad leaders are cursed in our prayers forever because they harm and change individual or societal development. Those who had suffered in Sabah under Tun Mustapha will curse him forever. And equally those who suffered under various bad leaders in Kuala Lumpur who made terrible decisions for Sabah will be cursed forever.

Anyway, Sabah’s problems in the main include corruption and indiscipline, a disease picked up from UMNO’s  53 years in power even though Sabah joined the Federation only 47 years ago. This disease is like plague and its spreading like wild fire. Almost every Sabahan you meet complains about corrupted politicians and civil servants, even those who are suppose to curb corruption – like the MACC aka ACA, it seems cannot be trusted.

Some politicians and public servants give us illusion, not solution, but mere promises and deceits, and UMNO is the GURU for this. They invent spin to what they are doing or not doing but the people know reality and delusion.

My article today I choose to pick on work of Musa Aman, the Chief Minister of Sabah since 2003. Musa Aman will be the longest serving chief minister of Sabah if he completes this full term, which most likely he would when the full term ends in 2013.

Today I want to praise Chief Minister Musa Aman’s initiatives a bit. I’m serious about this. No I’m not joking!

First, Musa Aman’s innovative and sustainable forest management solutions needs praises. Yes. Musa Aman’s work with Yayasan Sabah which is the largest forest concessionaire in Sabah and the way he managed and protected core forest reserves to ensure the responsible management of “working forests” that gives Sabah timber, jobs, sustainable economies, wildlife habitat, fresh water and a stable climate, needs praises. Truly Musa has done a fantastic job here compared with the earlier chief ministers who were only good in cutting down the trees and had absolutely no ideas at all on forest conservation.

A total of some 4.6 million hectares of forest reserves or about 70% of the total Sabah’s landmass is forest. Yayasan Sabah is responsible for the management of approximately 1 million hectares of forest in Borneo, including forests in the Danum Valley, Maliau Basin and Imbak Canyon, and is the home to the highest biodiversity in Sabah. Musa Aman has actually done some good conservation work here. Need to acknowledge this.

The Danum Valley Conservation Area, the brainchild of Musa Aman, one of the last pristine lowland tropical rainforests which is roughly 80,000 acres of formerly logged forest is home to one of the highest concentrations of orangutans in the world and has clouded leopards, pygmy elephants and over 300 bird species inhabiting in this area. Thanks to Musa Aman,  a deal was made possible between an American group and the Sabah state government to restore and protect this 80,000 acres of badly logged forest. Eco Products Fund a private equity fund which is jointly managed by New Forests Inc. of Washington, D.C. and Equator Environmental, LLC of New York City, join hands with the Government of Sabah for this  purpose. Hence, the Malua Wildlife Habitat Conservation Bank or Malua BioBank was setup with multimillion dollar investment to restore and protect the roughly 80,000 acres of the formerly logged forest. Nothing like this has ever been done for the biodiversity in tropical rainforests.

Then again last August, another milestone was achieved when Musa Aman set aside another 22,000 hectares, about the size of Penang island, of primary forests for protection in the “HEART” or Heart of Borneo (HOB). This has raised the forest protection figure to 1.2 million hectares, leaving 2.7 million hectares of other forests for commercial use – logging and agriculture. The “HEART” stretches from the north of  Sabah down to the south-west of Borneo, some 85 sq miles. Here are South-East Asia’s last swathes of virgin jungle and it has the tallest rainforests in the world and the largest of many things in the wild; the most endangered plant life and animals such as the orang-utans, sun bears, pygmy elephants and Sumatran rhinoceros are all here.

So it is a fact that under Musa Aman much is done for forest conservation to keep the rainforests from devastation and the idea to reconnect forests by building wildlife corridors so that animals such as the orang-utans that are driven to extinction may have a better chance of survival in a bigger and better habitat, and this is fantastic.

From forest lets now move to the Sabah’s economy.

It is true that Sabah’s economy was in the doldrums when Musa took over to became Sabah’s 14th Chief Minister. The treasury had a deficit of about RM3 Billion at that time. But after Musa Aman took over the reins of the state government the state treasury was having a surplus of more than RM500 million every year. The state coffers has recovered. Currently, the state reserves stand at about RM3 billion, the highest in Sabah’s history.

I remember, at that time when Musa Aman took over the state there was hardly any money in the treasury and the government could not even pay creditors because the state reserves were down to only RM168 million. It was true that even the state-owned Yayasan Sabah was almost bankrupt and could not even pay salaries and had to release many of the staff on some incentive for early retirement through a scheme VSS (Voluntary Separation Scheme). Today, Yayasan Sabah’s fortune has also changed dramatically with Musa at the helm. Through Musa’s excellent business and financial acumen, he has turnaround Yayasan Sabah by reorganising Yayasan’s many business operations and making many of them highly profitable. Today, even Yayasan Sabah as a group has a reserve of RM3 billion, a far cry from 2003 when it did not even have money for staff salaries.

Despite his excellent socio-economic transformation of Sabah, Musa is still perceived negatively due to his links with some controversial chinese timber tycoons. I have written much about this.

Whatever said and done Musa has brought much infrastructure development to the rural as well as urban areas to eradicate poverty, building low-cost houses for them and giving them land under a communal title to cultivate oil palms and rubber so that the lives of the people will change for the better.

It’s not wrong to say that all the Chief Ministers before Musa Aman were spending the state funds as though there was no tomorrow.The most startling was during Datuk Harris Salleh’s tenure. He was good at building multi-billion-ringgit grandiose projects that brought the state to the brink of bankruptcy. So much so that Sabah did not have the money to even administer Labuan island and he Datuk Harris happily gave away Labuan to the Federal Government without asking for any compensation for the cession.

In constrast, Musa Aman is making money for Sabah through his sound halatuju development framework.

The talk about our Premier Najib removing Musa Aman as chief minister of Sabah and replacing him with Shafie Apdal is going to be disastrous for Sabah if it ever happens. The talk is 150,000 from Southern Philipines all Shafie’s type are waiting to move into Sabah through the east coast if Shafie Apdal is made the Chief Minister of Sabah. This is going to be real bad for Sabah. As it is, there are already close to a million Mykad holding illegals mainly Filipinos and Indonesians and they have outnumbered Sabahans and thanks to Dr Mahathir for this.

Najib should just continue with Musa Aman as Chief Minister as he is doing a good job so far, in spite of all the negativity.

Longest chief minister? Certainly. Clever and canny? Absolutely. Polite? Without doubt. More control than anyone in state politics? No question. Could he change Sabah? Yes. For the better? You judge.

If Sabah gets a crazy Luddite to rule after the next election, who will Sabahans blame? Think.

  1. amir says:

    PRU-13 dijangka akan diadakan pada Jun ataupun Julai 2011.


  2. Mandela says:

    Dear Sabahan. You are absolutely correct. At first CMs and MPs are elected to their offices BY the RAKYAT. After 3 terms and beyond they elect themselves and stay till death do them part. We see these self elected presidents and dictators are forced to abdicate or resign by people’s power. Could we see this scenario happen in our beloved Malaysia? God forbids. Do we have the choice when ballot papers fail to dethrone them? Egypt has reformed their constitution..that the elected president can only hold office only for two terms, similar to the American system.


  3. Sabahan says:

    Yes, I agree! Sabah has turned around at this point, but as a Sabahan, I too know much about this so called good leader, and I shudder to think what he will become when he stays longer, perhaps another Taib Mahmud? I too know that he has turned this state around, but not all is good and rosy. He had used his connections, his companies, his businesses to turn this state at his will, all mega projects and so called developments are lopsided, going straight to his companies or crony companies, thus other businesses are without projects, what was left to give them are just small fry projects that do not promise of good returns. Sometimes cannot even make money as some other officials demand too much Under table money. Yes I agree Sabah looks much better today, but the real problem are those ordinary people and businesses, they are only making do daily. So to say that he should stay another how many more years? I think not. No one should stay for too long in Malaysian politics, why you ask?


    1. If at first the CM is good, then after a long time they become arrogant and greedy.
    2. Staying for too long bolsters their ego, and makes them think they are god, and think they can do anything without getting prosecuted.
    3. Letting them overstay will give them more opportunities to widen their influence and they start to plunder the state. ( Example is Taib Mahmud)
    4. Take a look at history, Mahathir has his riches taken from the rakyat, now Taib mahmud is revealed! Not to mention many more such from officers to MPs.

    Therefore we should never leave anyone at his own wits for too long in politics.
    Sarawak may fall in this election, Taib may leave for his own good soon, but there probably will be another Taib in Sabah soon! If not already, since this CM has hinted many times and so has his cronies that he wants to be the CM for life!

    All said, yes elected or not directly elected MPs and Cms can be good people if only they do not turn themselves around in the face of RM. I think we should have an American system here, where Cms and PMs cannot stay over a certain period, this should check the rampant abuse of power.


  4. amir says:

    Kalau tidak gembira, PRU dah dekat.


  5. bei soo lang says:

    The death tango of a newly wed couple in a banquet from borrowed money.
    There was a very poor family in Sabah.Their eldest son was going to get married next month.The parents wanted to give everybody in Sabah the impression that they are very well to do so that the son can have a successful business career.They borrowed money from everywhere with more lies than truth.They borrowed money from relatives,friends,banks,money lenders and loan sharks.On the wedding day they have 100 tables of the best Chinese food with no Any Pow accepted.Every table had shark fins,bird nest,abalone and XOs.It was a beautiful wedding and everybody tango up and down the hall according to the instructions of the best tango dance instructors,But the joy only lasted 5 hrs and after everybody went home.Everybody pretended to be happy but they all knew that the family was dirt poor.The father and son sold fish balls that the mother made in her kampung house for many years.Nobody is foolish enpough to do business with poor people.
    They have to pay the debts quickly.The son was forced into robbery and selling drugs.
    The daughter in law was forced into prostitution and selling drugs.Both of us end up in the death row…in Kota Kinabalu jail..The parents committed suicide.

    I am a management expert selling computer software to all 5 star hotels in Kota Kinabalu ans all Sabah towns.
    I went through all their accounts.Most of them have debts of over one year.They could,nt pay my invoices but I continue to advice them.If they goes into bankruptcy I will not be able to collect a single cent..

    In our country do you know of any DEATH tango projects ?????
    100 story mega tower ??? 50 billion MRT project ??? 100 billion revamp of PKFZ projects..????

    You can all write under my name..
    Name: Bei Soo Lang
    email :


  6. amin says:

    yup…so far, can’t think anyone better than Musa. seems he still is the best to rule Sabah…although some may says that he is corrupted CM….but i doubt about it? i think it is just a conspiracy to jeopardize him. even so, he has boost Sabah’s economy and the longer he serve as CM, the better Sabah’s economy and development is…if we change to new CM..can he make sure Sabah’s economy remain or better than before? so the conclusion is….Sabah still very far to become rich and changing new CM may not transform Sabah into equally developed states in Malaysia..after Musa took over, Sabah treasury has rise from RM3 bill to RM500 bill yearly…isn’t that mean a good thing for Sabahan?


  7. surandry says:

    Don’t know who better than Musa. Overall now still musa lah. no any candidate for next CM.


  8. gg says:

    so Selva, how is it like being accused of receiving money from Musa? or u will come up with another article cursing Musa????


  9. sima says:

    ready for next CM? can u think anyone better than Musa?


  10. amira says:

    Sabah still the poorest state because of greedy previous CM….of course Musa himself cannot transform Sabah to rich state during his session! come on lah….think smart! the truth is Sabah known as poorest state since Datuk Harris as CM. I think, when u visit Sandakan, LD, Semporna etc…….tel me who owned those luxurious plantations and oil palm started booming since 1980s! don’t just judge without digging old stories. be more sensible and don’t just pointing finger to Musa..he has done lots to Sabah and we all should thanked him for that. i am not paid for saying this!


  11. amira says:

    no one is being paid over praising Musa…open your eyes and look around you. there is no denial that more hectares of forest protected under Musa. I remember once that all forest surrounded the main protected areas, DVCA, Maliau and Imbak were planned to be clear cut under Benta Wawasan project. Clear cut land then be planted with Acacia mangium, the most noxious weed in Asian and Australian region….so now…thanks to Musa for protecting those natural heritage forest!


  12. amira says:

    well….i think Selvaraj is praising Musa at this time…may be he has realize what Musa has brought to Sabah’s development. sometime it’s hard to understand people…:)


  13. bulloxgold says:

    So much NT lands changed lease/ownership during PBS time for a pittance-Sarawakians got the bulk of it fully encouraged by the then CM.For a pittance(squandered briefly) Sabahans parted with their most prized possession-one major reason why we are still in the poverty category.To make up for it, the then CM started dishing out more land, whatever that was available(timber or otherwise) with blatant disregard for biodiversity or any future repercussions that may befall the State.MA put a stop to this beginning with new NT land laws e.g. tenure of lease reduced from 99-33 yrs.For those holding land now, I believe there are many programs for agri, horticulture & animal husbandry that are subsidised by the Gov’t. but in many cases there are abuses by both the giver & recipient. There is still hope that Sabahans can be productive without having to dispose off their birthright assets but to achieve success they must put their hearts to it.


  14. Sabah Sifu says:

    They are living in denial ….


  15. Sinosabah says:

    Hold on guys, especially those who been paid to praise him ! If the Peh Moh no.2 is so great about managing Sabah economy, why is it Sabah still the poorest state in Malaysia? Sabah was not the poorest during the reign of Harris Salleh and PBS.State land can be alienated to all rakyats at 15 acres each, timber lands can be applied by Sabahan during PBS goverment. Now it’s all controlled by MA. Goverment linked companies are competing with private sector under monopoly enterprises for confirmed profits. But where are the monies distributed ? Have we heard any program to help the poors of interior ? Natives abandon their land due to short of working capital, did MA initiate any program to help ? The answer is NO and thus Sabah is confirmed by World Bank the poorest state in Malaysia ever since BN ruled !


  16. bulloxgold says:

    If there is a measuring chart for the +- of MA,its likely this CM can pass the test which by itself is commendable as I believe NON of his predecessors have ever succeeded.MA is a proven businessman & most of his wealth was earned long before he joined politics hence the primary motive for doing this present job may not be the pursuit of wealth alone. He is now managing the state economy like a business concern & the bottom line is not bad at all.He has manged to do this without sacrificing the social & other needs of the state. In addition many of the state departments have improved their performances-the Bendahari is an example of efficiency for prompt payments.I definitely cannot vouch for the federal depts because since Syed Kecik, Sabah has been a harvesting ground for them. I would like to read yr next psoting, Selva.


  17. Sinosabah says:

    Really upset with this article. I have been waiting for your Part Two to concur my suspicion if you have received bribe from Musa for this 360* turn around article or you were threaten by Musa’s gangster to do a reimaging for Him. Please tell us the truth or I shall call you a opportunist too.


  18. MdZulnain says:

    Musa Aman is really better leader than order CM before. Thank you for what Datuk Musa do for Sabah.


  19. Kopivosian says:

    Such a reversal, Sev? How much does it take to make such a reversal of assessment? The guy is worth a biilion or 2, of US$, so any poor bugger blogger can jump on the bandwagon for a cut.

    You can fool some of the people some of he time, but you can’t fool all of the people all the time!


  20. sarah Jones says:

    Well, there is no best leader but better leader. Musa is still the better leader than others.
    At least he has done something for Sabah. He is very business minded for a start, having more development in the state.


  21. juzan says:

    I’m not his fan but I think that Musa Aman is the best CM :)


  22. juzan says:

    The +ve side of Musa Aman :)
    I really hope MA do his job well..


  23. Allies says:

    Choices is in the people’s hand. If they choose the wrong person, we will be over-run by from the Philippines. So, for now, they must choose wisely.


  24. avenge7fold says:

    Richard says:
    October 11, 2010 at 7:06 am

    I heard it was just a rumors made by the opposition such as SAPP who have no other issues to be politicize…like you just said..SOME say is in the billions?


  25. Richard says:

    If Musa Aman was the best Chief Minister that Sabah ever had, how doyou explain his outrageous net worth which some say is in the billions ? Surely, if one went by his yearly salary as Chief Minioster, this ijust do not add up. Where then or how then did he arrive to such riches ?


  26. Presley says:

    Either you are being brutally sarcastic abous MA or you rather have MA than Shafie to be the CM. Which is it?


  27. Presley says:

    There is gonna be a part 2 too???Hopefully it’s based on facts.


  28. jamie says:

    every person have they own opinion…so we need to respect the opinion from the others..


  29. rutan says:

    yes, Musa Aman is pakistan, but he is malaysia and Sabah citizen, he many help Sabahan. please dont racist.


  30. martycruz says:

    Sabahan is fool because of they didn’t vote for PKR??.. Sabahan has their own reason and rights to vote which party is the best to rule Sabah..


  31. Nelly says:

    Lolz. I can see there will be part 2..Now bring out the Part 2..>:)

    Shafie will never be and shall never be a CM. Lord knows, like you said, thousands of Filipinos and Filipinas are waiting to enter Sabah through the so-called-legal-way if it’s Shafie.

    Btw, i don’t see lots of Paklistanis entering Sabah. What i see is thousands and thousands of Filipinos and Filipinas. *sweats*


  32. […] more: Musa Aman: An Appraisal « Selvarajasomiah's Weblog Share and […]


  33. nud says:
    you all guys have to read this and open your mind.
    he is a magician. what your eyes saw is what your mind believe. but in fact or indirectly sabahan lose something because of him. He is not a sabahan, he is Pakistianian. unforunetly most sabahan is fool. Dr. Jeffery try to save Sabah but most sabahan does not support him.


  34. nud says:

    please read this. all what his done is for himself.
    in your guys eye is ok but in fact it going to ruin sabahan future.


  35. rutan says:

    tidak dinafikan byk pembangunan di Sabah ketika Musa Aman menjadi KM Sabah. bagaimanapun,m masih byk lagi kawasan2 di Sabah yang masih mundur terutamanya di kawasan pedalaman. harap musa akan memberi perhatian dalam membangunkan kawasan tersebut.


  36. mslam says:

    What infrastructure projects are you talking about ? What about those highways build but not tarred into the interior ? What about electricty and water for the poor interior where the bulk of poverty lies ? If it is about more buildings and roads in Kota Kinabalu, maybe yes. This is not a measure of development !

    You need to include social justice . Why is the CM stopping the Thean Ho temple construction in Sandakan ? Did the CM cracked down on illegal immigrants from Phillipines and Indonesia or they are being given citizenship over locals who still in possession of red ICs through no fault of their own ?
    What about illegal money laundering alleged to have taken place in Hong Kong ?


  37. myexpat68 says:

    Santa Claus have arrived early!!

    Ho! Ho! Ho!


  38. affio says:

    Musa Aman the best CM of sabah…..


  39. Poppy More says:

    So you all better wait for the coming article from selva….it might be surprise n killing you all!!


  40. sophie says:

    i mean ‘on’ the diff angle. haiyah.


  41. sophie says:

    He is writing this so that the people will turn condemning to Musa. He is so tired talking mentioning Musa’s flaws all by himself. So he suddenly came up with this article lor. Just look at the different angle. Peace y’all.


  42. martycruz says:

    like it or not, MA is still the chief minister of Sabah and the time will come for him to resign..


  43. wayangkulit says:

    Wow selva after all the article u posted here, u came with this posting..its kinda anti climax isn’t it? You said there will going to be another articles…hopefully it will not going to be anti climax v2!

    About Musa, yes he has done a lot in improving a number of area which was deemed important for Sabah & Sabahan as a whole…but there are also some area that should also be improved & had to be look on such as Illegal immigrant issues etc…


  44. Farouq Omaro says:

    No matter who is CM, the important thing is that the person should stand up for Sabah’s rights without being confrontational.


  45. pendekar malaysia says:

    hope Sabahan will be more develop in the future.


  46. Poppy More says:

    Ya la 1st we need to say the nice thing about people’s, then we hentam balik…. Thats normal la…So not simply obsess to only 1 things it might get u into trouble..then you have 2 eyes to see the different angle bad and Good…. Beside we all do have that kind of attitude…angel and Devil…


  47. MdZulnain says:

    Hurry..we waiting for the part 2 story..Give the interesting story k selva..I waiting for you next part..


  48. sophie says:

    wow Part 2? Another kezutans? Can’t wait.


  49. sampo says:

    What makes you change your mind, Sir Selva?


  50. mike says:

    hope that the longstanding issues which burdening the sabahans for so many years will be end..


  51. mike says:

    i’m sure the state govt under Musa will brings more good fortunes for sabahans..its true that in some rural areas still left far more behind rather than urban areas but there’s an efforts from the govt to develop the areas.


  52. mike says:

    well, Musa sure brought a good transformation in terms of Sabah economic and development since he became sabah CM.


  53. Hold your horses Guys, get ready for PART 2 of the appraisal…it’s gonna be more sex-citing for sure…u guys gonna love once it’s out.


  54. Zulkarnain Alex says:

    From your write up, MA has done good to the forest, state coffers and etc….The end result should reflect upon the people. Are the people doing good? Is the state’s infrastructure up to par as west malaysia’s? Do people in the rurals get the necessities of life, i.e. water/elctricity/travelable roads………? Do the kids in schools gets the correct education, for the whole of sabah, not just the towns? Please enlighten me if have a wrong picture of sabah……….and sarawak……….
    MA is a gov servant. He works for the people. if he has done a good job, he deserves a pat………but the end result must reflect positively on the people…then he deserves the salute


  55. Alan says:

    @Nollan: Pakistanis in Sabah? Are you sure there’s Pakistani’s in Sabah!? I read it on wikipedia, & I thought it’s rubbish, since I’m from Klang, & never set foot on Borneo Island at the 1st place…


  56. martycruz says:

    Chief ministers before him know only how to spend money. The most startling was during Harris Salleh’s tenure. He was good at building multi-billion-ringgit grandiose projects that brought the state to the brink of bankruptcy…


  57. sophie says:



  58. sophie says:

    Hi Selvaraja,

    Logically thinking since the tenure of MA, which is obviously the longest CM of Sabah, of course he has brought excellency in development plus economically. (logically thinking) Bc, the other CMs was only got to rule for like, 2 years? What can exactly you do much for development in 2 years? Even the completeness for 1Borneo is like until, now? Since? Unlike 7 years right? But still, we have to say thanks for the other CMs for their positive contributions btw. Please have peace in Sabah.


  59. Poppy More says:

    Yeah, you should be aware about all these but in a same time you know how bad is Musa Aman….No motive for him to write those words, i guess but only realizing that Musa is better than the previous CM..and no to Shafie like you guys always ask/try hard to convince people about how good is Musa Aman and how bad is Shafie…… Then you guys success in turning salva to write the good of Musa Aman…….Emmm…..


  60. MdZulnain says:

    Anybody can be the CM. Datuk Shafie is not bad, but people vote choice who the best for them. Right Selva…


  61. Sabah Sifu says:

    How can there be socio-economic transformation in Sabah when since the RMK8 development means Project. There is hardly any emphasis on Programs?


  62. jamie says:

    since 2003 we can see the excellent socio-economic transformation of Sabah and now we can see the infrastructure development in Sabah….


  63. ferlo says:

    Musa Aman is the best Sabah CM, i hope he will continue become Sabah CM.


  64. Sabah Sifu says:

    reverse psychology? or cari makan?


  65. sambo says:

    Why the turnaround ??? although it’s a fair assessment on what he’s done ,are you going do part 2 on what he hasn’t done or should have done to transform our lives here in sabah , everyone is aware of his dark side and you yourself have written about it,


  66. Juanita says:

    Nollan, if Shafie Apdal is made CM of Sabah, you can bet there will be even more Pakistanis coming to Sabah.


  67. Nollan says:

    What about the influx of Pakistanis coming to Sabah? Just go to Beufort where the newly imported Pakistanis community is thriving.


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