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KOTA KINABALU, Sept 5 ― An estimated 1,500 people, believed to be supporters of Tan Sri Musa Aman, are at the old Terminal 2 airport here today to greet the former Sabah chief minister on his homecoming after three months away.
The crowd, many dressed in red shirts or red headscarves ― Umno’s colour ― started streaming in as early as 10am, though Musa’s private jet is only expected to touch down at 12.45pm.
The terminal, which has been relieved of commercial flights since 2015, was suddenly abuzz with the arrival of the former BN chairman who is expected to arrive here on private jet.
Security was tight, with police personnel guiding all vehicles that entered through a back entrance to the terminal.
Units of the police general operations force personnel, some armed with M16 machine guns, stood guard on both sides of the road outside the airport lobby, where entrance is barred to the crowd of supporters.
One supporter who gave her name as Masnah Mohamad, came with her entire family including her grandson, from the district of Tuaran, some 50km away.
“We are his fans. So we have to come,” she said when asked.
“We heard he was coming home yesterday and really wanted to see him today. Insyaallah, we get to see him,” she said.
The demonstrators also chanted their support for Musa. Calls of “Hidup Tan Sri” (“Long live Tan Sri”) fill the air.
Several hold up white pieces of paper proclaiming their support, some with hearts in red ink: “Sokong TSMA”, “We love TSMA”.
As more people stream in, the crowd starts to get rowdy, with some hitting the glass walls to the lobby and demanding to be let in.
However, police only allowed entry inside the terminal to Sabah Umno liaison chief Datuk Hajiji Noor and the state Umno secretary Datuk Masidi Manjun to meet Musa when the latter lands.
Musa, who left Sabah on May 14, is due home after receiving medical treatment for a heart condition at a private hospital in Subang Jaya, Selangor. Before that, he was abroad in the UK, where he said he was also receiving treatment at a hospital there.
His aides here believe he will be taken straight to the Jesselton Medical Centre here upon arrival and will be taken to the state assembly tomorrow to be sworn in.
Musa has to be sworn in by September 11 to officially be able to carry out duties as Sungai Sibuga assemblyman.