Sabah may see ‘shift’ in political allegiances

Posted: November 3, 2018 in Musa Aman, North Borneo, Sabah, Sabah Politics, Sabah State Assembly GE13, Shafie Apdal
Tags: , , ,

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(Dr Jeffrey Kitingan of STAR Sabah & Wilfred Tanggau of UPKO)

Kota Kinabalu, Sat 3 Nov 2018

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Sabah may see ‘shift’ in political allegiances

Speculation is rife in Kota Kinabalu, in the run-up to Nov 7, that several state assemblypersons may ditch the state gov’t soon to sit as “independents” in the state assembly.

It was not immediately clear from talk in the social media on whether the “shift” would take place before or after Nov 7.

Nov 7 is the day the High Court would decide on the lawful chief minister of Sabah. Umno Sabah Chief Musa Aman was sworn in as the head of gov’t on May 10. Forty eight hours later, the Governor swore in Parti Warisan Sabah president Shafie Apdal to replace the former.

According to the political grapevine, the “rebel” lawmakers have a long list of grievances which are yet to be addressed by the new administration.

“Don’t focus on Nov 7 too much,” said one post in a whatsApp group. “This has gone beyond Nov 7.”

“There are serious issues which are yet to be addressed.”

The “rebels” have claimed in private chat groups that it was premature at this juncture to flog the issues in public.

They are hoping against hope that the state gov’t will address the issues. If they are addressed, naturally there won’t be anyone taking an independent stand in the state assembly.

It has been learnt that some of the grievances of the “rebels” include the registration of “dubious” people for the issuance of late registration birth certificates and ICs, the state gov’t’s stand on a spate of fires that took place since mid-May in several squatter settlements, and land issues.

Other issues are appointments in the new administration, and the dismissals of village chiefs.

The “rebels” appear uncertain on how many of them would support the lawful Chief Minister declared on Nov 7. That appears to be a separate issue with the rebels.

All lawmakers have to search their conscience on the court’s declaration.

Perhaps they will cross the bridge when they come to it.

The circumstances under which the switch of chief ministers took place on May 12 remain somewhat murky. There are allegations of a conspiracy during the 48 hour period. Six nominated state assemblypersons, proposed by Musa, were also not sworn in.

Musa was not given the right to go to the state assembly to gauge his level of support. If he had been given the chance, it’s unlikely that any gov’t Bill would have been defeated.

It doesn’t happen.

If a gov’t Bill was defeated in the state assembly, it would be tantamount to a vote of no confidence in the chief minister.

The High Court is expected to shed light on Nov 7 on whether the defeat or otherwise of a gov’t Bill in the Sabah state assembly should be the “gold standard” to demonstrate the lack of confidence or otherwise in a sitting chief minister.

Amir Hussein Sulaiman (Tel: 0168406756)

A concerned citizen from Sarawak in the Land Below the Wind

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