Analyst explains why ex-CM Musa is right to feel ‘played out’

Former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman (left) said he had majority support in the state assembly but the governor, Juhar Mahiruddin, consented to the dissolution of the legislature instead.

PETALING JAYA: A political analyst says he can understand why former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman feels “played out” after his successor, Shafie Apdal, obtained permission to dissolve the state legislative assembly, triggering a state election.

Kamarul Zaman Yusoff of Universiti Utara Malaysia told FMT that Musa was not afforded the same opportunity to replace Shafie as chief minister the same way that Shafie was allowed to replace Musa after the 2018 general election.

“The governor, in his wisdom, has the authority to decide what is best for the state and, in fact, I agree that a fresh election is probably the best way to resolve the political crisis,” he said.

“But Musa and his supporters will naturally feel hard done by the decision. When Shafie showed he had the numbers after the 14th general election, Musa was removed and Shafie was sworn in as chief minister.”

Now, Kamarul said, the tables had turned and it was Musa who says he has a sufficient majority to form the government but the governor had consented to fresh elections instead.

“The circumstances are similar, but on both occasions, Musa found himself on the losing end.”

Yesterday, Musa said he was played out for a second time after the state assembly was dissolved.

Musa was sworn in as chief minister on May 10, 2018, but two days later, was told to step down by the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Juhar Mahiruddin, who, in turn, swore in Shafie as the chief minister.

Later that day, Musa and his supporters were barred from entering the palace to have an audience with Juhar.

Because there was a precedent of a chief minister being appointed based on the majority he commanded in the state assembly, Kamarul said it might be prudent for the governor to explain why he gave his consent for the assembly to be dissolved rather than appoint Musa as the new chief minister.

“This is to prevent people from making speculations or casting doubts over the Sabah palace,” he aid.

Kamarul said if the governor felt that Musa was not the right person for the job, he could have asked the majority of the assemblymen to propose another candidate.