Absent from BN and PN List, Musa’s Fate a Mystery

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Musa Aman, who was the longest-serving Sabah chief minister, would be left with very limited options if neither BN nor PN takes him in.

Musa may have brought about the Sabah election after initiating a failed coup, but whether the former Sabah chief minister will be part of the electoral contest remains a mystery.

This is after neither BN nor Perikatan Nasional announced him as a candidate in the Sabah election, despite Musa previously hinting that he may be interested in the Sungai Manila state seat.

Once a powerful Umno warlord who could decide his own seat, Musa now appears to be struggling to find a party that is willing to take him in.

Musa is technically still an Umno member, but his allegiance has been unclear since the 2018 general election and he is also at loggerheads with his successor Bung Moktar Radin who now leads Sabah Umno.

Bung today announced that Umno will instead field Mokran Ingkat as its candidate for Sungai Manila.

He also announced Mohamad Hamsan Awang Supian as the candidate for Sungai Sibuga, Musa’s incumbent seat, which he had held since 1994.

Bung, who is contesting the Lamag seat and a potential chief ministerial candidate, claimed Musa had never asked to contest for a seat under BN.

Azneal Ishak/Malaysiakini

While Umno was announcing its 31 candidates for the Sabah election in Kota Kinabalu this morning, Musa was across the South China Sea.

“Musa is not in Kota Kinabalu, he’s still in Kuala Lumpur,” a senior Sabah Umno source told Malaysiakini. Musa did not respond to repeated attempts to contact him.

It is unclear what Musa was doing in Peninsular Malaysia on the day where BN and PN were unveiling their candidates, but his connection to Putrajaya is well known.

Speculation had been rife that Musa may turn to PN to field him as a candidate but that did not materialise when Bersatu, an Umno splinter party, announced their 29 candidates today.

Bersatu did not announce that it will contest in Sungai Sibuga or Sungai Manila, seemingly averting a clash with Umno.

However, Sabah PAS commissioner Mohd Aminuddin Aling indicated to Malaysiakini that the announcement by Sabah Bersatu chief Hajiji Mohd Noor today was not necessarily a done deal.

He said Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin will visit Sabah tomorrow and more announcements may be made.

PAS itself was excluded from the PN announcement today and stressed that Muhyiddin’s announcement tomorrow will be the definitive one.

This could offer Musa a glimmer of hope if he is able to secure an intervention from the Bersatu leadership at the federal level.

However, Bersatu will have to weigh its options as making a last-minute announcement in favour of Musa in Sungai Manila would set the party on a collision course with Umno.

Musa, who was the longest-serving Sabah chief minister, would be left with very limited options if neither BN nor PN takes him in.

At present, the parties that are confirmed to be contesting the Sabah election under BN logo are Umno, PBRS and MCA, while Bersatu, Star and SAPP will contest under PN. PAS’ position is still unclear.

If Musa cannot secure a ticket from either coalition, he may have to turn to minor parties or contest as an independent candidate. BN and PN’s common rival coalition comprising Warisan, Pakatan Harapan and Upko is out of the question.

A natural consideration for Musa would be Parti Cinta Sabah, which is led by his half-brother Anifah Aman.

However, Anifah today announced PCS would contest all 73 seats in Sabah and none of the listed candidates was Musa.

Musa, one of the most influential figures in Sabah politics, is now running out of time and options.

Whether he remains a key player in Sabah politics will be known on Sept 12, when the parties formally field their candidates.

On July 29, Musa announced he had secured enough defections to take over the Sabah government and had tried to get himself sworn in as the chief minister.

However, he was thwarted after the state’s governor, Juhar Mahiruddin consented to Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal’s request to dissolve the state assembly, paving the way to the Sabah election on Sept 26.

It was the second blow for Musa, whose coalition won a narrow majority in the 2018 general election but was ousted through defections engineered by Shafie, who is the Warisan president. – Malaysiakini