After court decision, Kitingan feels vindicated for supporting Musa

Jeffrey Kitingan says the decision to free Musa of all charges meant he had supported the right man all along.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah leaders have expressed mixed feelings regarding the freeing of former chief minister Musa Aman of 46 corruption and money laundering charges, in relation to timber concessions in the state, by the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

Sabah opposition leader Jeffrey Kitingan said he felt vindicated for supporting Musa, who is Sungai Sibuga assemblyman, following the May 2018 election results, but Warisan’s Sepanggar MP Azis Jamman was perplexed.

Kitingan said: “This is a piece of good news as the decision to free Musa from all the charges gives me confidence that I have supported the right person all along. Musa is a person with integrity.”

Kitingan, who is the deputy federal arts, culture and tourism minister, had been appointed deputy chief minister in Musa’s short-lived state Cabinet immediately after the 2018 general election.

Judge Muhammad Jamil Hussin made the decision to free Musa during case mention today after the prosecution, represented by deputy public prosecutor Azhar Abdul Hamid, said it was withdrawing all charges against Musa.

Azis, who was deputy home minister during Pakatan Harapan’s reign, was perplexed that new Attorney-General Idrus Harun deduced that Musa was innocent whereas the previous AG, Tommy Thomas, thought there was a case against the former Sabah Umno chief.

“Things have changed since Perikatan Nasional took over the government. So if the government changes again, the AG might change and the opinion might change as well. It seems the law changes following a change of government.

“Just like what former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has said, a lot of strange things are happening in the country, especially with regards to law and order,” he said.

Azis felt it was “peculiar” that his vice-president Peter Anthony, who is Sabah infrastructure development minister, was questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on the same day that Musa was freed. Anthony is believed to have been questioned over a land purchase deal involving the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda).

“I leave it to the public to see for themselves whether this is political tyranny or not.”

SAPP president Yong Teck Lee, meanwhile, limited his comments although he believes today’s event was waiting to happen.

“(DAP secretary-general) Lim Guan Eng’s bungalow case sets all the precedents. But as a lawyer, I will need to read the full proceedings of what the lawyers on both sides and the judge said before I comment on the exact legalities of the case.

“This brings back to the time the charges were brought against Musa, mere days before the Kota Kinabalu High Court’s judgment on the unconstitutional appointment of the Sabah chief minister,” he said, referring to Musa’s legal challenge against Shafie Apdal’s appointment as chief minister.

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