KOTA KINABALU, April 10 — Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman today accused political rival Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal of lying about the reason he left Umno in 2016.
Musa said the Parti Warisan Sabah president was in fact eyeing his Sabah chief minister position, but after being denied the top post, he joined forces with another Umno rebel, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, and set his sights on the deputy prime minister’s post instead.
“It’s not my style to get confrontational but I have to say something. Stop tip-toeing around this issue. Let’s call a spade a spade. That was why he chose to leave the party,” he said in reply to Shafie’s statement yesterday, denying that he backstabbed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak while in office.
Musa said that the then-deputy prime minister Muhyiddin, who was sacked in June 2016 together with Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, engaged in a year-long power struggle with the Umno leadership that eventually failed.
He added Shafie had already struck a deal earlier with the party rebels before leaving the following month, and that it was the trio’s game plan from the beginning.
“To claim that he had placed “the future of the nation” ahead of his friendship with Najib is laughable,” he said.
Musa said Najib went above and beyond to advance Shafie’s political career, helping him become the Umno vice president and giving him the important Rural and Regional Development Ministry portfolio.
“I agree that without Najib’s backing, Shafie would not have achieved the extraordinary opportunity bestowed upon him,” he said.
He said Shafie should exercise political maturity, instead of acting like a schoolboy, by saying he (Musa) was not comfortable with his position as Umno vice president.
“If I was uncomfortable, I would have gone for the post myself. Not only did I not go for VP, I also did not contest the supreme council post. I did not do so because of my commitments as chief minister,” he said.