KOTA KINABALU, May 17 — Tan Sri Musa Aman filed a lawsuit today seeking a declaration that he is the rightful Sabah chief minister under the Constitution and to annul Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal’s appointment to the same post.
Musa’s lawyer, Tengku Fuad Ahmad from Messrs FT Ahmad & Co, said that the lawsuit was filed with the High Court today and named Governor Tun Juhar Mahiruddin and Shafie as respondents.
“In his writ, Musa is seeking a declaration, among others, that he is and remains the lawful chief minister and that the purported swearing in of Shafie as a second chief minister by the [Governor] was unconstitutional.
“The writ also seeks a declaration that any and all acts by Shafie whilst purporting to be the chief minister are also null, void and of no effect,” said Fuad.
Fuad said both respondents have 14 days to answer the writ.
The case has been set for mention on June 19 in front of Judge Ravinthran Paramaguru.
The suit comes after a power tussle for the state government following a tie of 29 seats each for Musa’s Barisan Nasional (BN) and Shafie’s Parti Warisan Sabah and Pakatan Harapan (PH) pact.
Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) chief Datuk Jeffrey Kitingan, whose party won two seats in the May 9 polls, threw his support behind Musa and enabled him to be sworn in as chief minister on May 10.
However, within 48 hours, six Sabah BN assemblymen switched allegiances, tipping the scale in Shafie’s favour.
Juhar reportedly asked Musa to step down on May 12, but Musa was adamant he had the right to stay and subsequently chaired the first Cabinet meeting that same day.
Shafie was sworn in as the 15th chief minister on May 12. Since then, the Istana Negeri has issued a letter to Musa’s private secretary notifying him that he was no longer recognised as chief minister.
The legal fraternity are at odds about the case and have referred to 2009/2010 Perak mentri besar case as precedence.
Musa has yet to officially step down but Shafie has been carrying out duties as chief minister.