KUALA LUMPUR, July 23 — Rivals seeking to oust Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal’s Sabah administration were purportedly just one lawmaker short of achieving their goal, Perikatan Nasional (PN) sources have claimed.

They told The Straits Times (ST) that the assemblymen were purportedly ready to declare support for Shafie’s predecessor, Tan Sri Musa Aman.

Musa was recently acquitted of all the corruption and money laundering charges against him.

“There may be more (defectors). But for now, we have to wait for an audience with the governor,” one PN source was quoted as saying.

The sources told the ST that the campaign to oust the Warisan-led Sabah government was gaining traction after PN resolved a previous dispute over which of its leaders would lead a new administration.

They asserted that Sabah Bersatu Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor had been a frontrunner but Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Musa held talks that ended in the former CM being selected.

Rumours of an impending coup grew this week after a gathering of Sabah lawmakers was observed at Musa’s home in the state.

Yesterday, Sabah DAP assemblymen held a press conference to allege that they had been approached with offers of cash and government positions in order to secure their defections.

The group said none accepted and condemned the attempt to bring down the state government.

They also alleged that those approaching them had claimed to be agents acting on behalf of a senior state politician linked to Musa.

PN in Sabah — consisting of Sabah Umno, Bersatu, Sabah STAR, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and three independent assemblymen — need about 15 defections to claim a simple majority in the state assembly.