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Sabah CM selection: Butt out, Najib

 | May 14, 2014

Even though Umno members form the majority of state assemblymen, it is not a “ticket” for Najib Razak to appoint a CM according to his desire.

Umno-Shafie-Apdal-Musa-AmanKOTA KINABALU:  Umno and Prime Minister Najib Razak have been told to stay out the selection of the next Sabah Chief Minister.

Pakatan Pro Barisan Nasional urged Najib not to interfere in decisions involving the selection of Musa Aman’s successor.

Its president Zulkarnain Mahdar said Najib must allow the Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) leadership to decide who they think is qualified to lead the state in the future.

He said even though Umno members comprised  the majority of Sabah’s elected representatives, “it is not a ticket for the Prime Minister to appoint the Chief Minister according to his desire”.

“Take for example Sarawak, the Chief Minister was chosen with the consensus of the BN leaders there, it was not the decision of the Prime Minister,” Zulkarnain said in a statement here.

He reminded that Sabah and Sarawak were independent before they became ‘partners’ to the Federation of Malaya in forming Malaysia.

“Therefore, Sabah’s rights in all aspects, including the choice of Chief Minister, must be respected.

“Pakatan Pro BN is hopeful that BN elected representatives of Sabah will be brave to defend the rights of the state,” he stressed.

Talk of Musa’s successor has been swirling since before the 13th general election last year. There are two distinct camps in sabah Umno –  Musa and that of federal minister Shafie Apdal.

In last Umno party election, Shafie retained his position as a vice-president with a resounding majority. His win has further entrenched him with the Umno’s nasional warlords.

There is common knowledge here the federal Umno top leadership see Shafie as the ‘ideal’ successor to Musa.

They’re seen as having further strengthened his ‘position’ in Sabah by ensuring that millions of development funds are channeled through his portfolio as the Rural and Regional Development Minister.

This has not gone down well with the state administration. In fact State Umno deputy Liasion chief salleh Said Keruak had reportedly called on Putrajaya to rethink this procedure.

But there has been no change.

Sabah Umno is divided on both Musa and Shafie.

Musa himself is distrustful of Semporna MP Shafie, who is a Bajau.

During the runup to last general election, a grassroot source said: “He (Musa) has no trust for Shafie. He said Shafie will give away (Sabah).”


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