Shafie has no right to comment on Musa’s swearing-in, says activist

Activist Zulkarnain Mahdar tells Parti Warisan Sabah president Shafie Apdal to concentrate on his upcoming court case involving the chief ministership of the state.

KOTA KINABALU: A political activist has criticised Chief Minister Shafie Apdal for commenting on the swearing-in of former chief minister Musa Aman as a state assemblyman, saying only the Sabah state assembly speaker can do so.

Zulkarnain Mahdar contended that Shafie, despite being chief minister, did not have the authority to comment on the deadline for Musa to be sworn in as the Sungai Sibuga assemblyman.

“Shafie doesn’t have the authority … who is he? Only the Sabah state assembly speaker, or his office, can comment on this and no one else.

“On the date for Musa to be sworn in, that is between Musa and the speaker’s office.

“And even if Musa chooses not to be sworn in as the assemblyman, what has that got to do with Shafie?” he said when contacted by FMT.

Zulkarnain said it was better for the Parti Warisan Sabah president to concentrate on his court case involving the chief ministership of the state.

“The people are divided over this issue and it would be best for Shafie to focus on the legality of his position as CM,” he said.

Shafie had yesterday said Musa must come back and be sworn in as the Sungai Sibuga assemblyman before Sept 11 even if he was sick.

Replying to questions on the status of Musa’s seat, Shafie said the state constitution clearly spelled out that if a person failed to take the oath within a set period of time, the seat which he or she had won in an election would automatically become vacant and a by-election must take place.

The Semporna MP also doubted whether Musa was really sick when asked if he believed Musa’s explanation that he was unwell and bedridden and therefore could not travel home to take his oath.

He said he had seen a photo of Musa on a “sick bed”, which had been made viral on social media, but did not believe it reflected the true picture.

Zulkarnain, who was the former Gerakan Akar Umbi Umno (Gaum) chairman, also took issue with Shafie for voicing his opinion on Musa’s health status.

“Why does he need to get involved or comment on what is clearly a personal matter?”

Musa was said to have left the country on May 14. It was reported earlier that he returned to Malaysia yesterday evening and was taken to a hospital in Subang Jaya, Selangor, for further treatment.

The High Court will decide on Sept 3 on an application by Shafie to strike out a suit by Musa, who claims to be the rightful Sabah chief minister.

Musa, the former Sabah Barisan Nasional chairman, had filed a suit claiming he was the rightful state chief minister and that the subsequent appointment of Shafie by Juhar was against the state constitution.

Musa filed a writ of summons through Messrs FT Ahmad & Co against Juhar and Shafie on May 17.

However, Musa later dropped his lawsuit against Juhar and Shafie and instead filed an originating summons which allows the case to proceed without the parties having to be present in court.

His lawyer, Tengku Fuad Ahmad, had said with the originating summons, there would only be paperwork and submissions, minus the requirement for a trial.