Terengganu crisis heads for showdown as battle of two Ahmads continues
Confusing statements are coming from Terengganu BN lawmakers as the state’s political crisis heads for another showdown, with the same two Ahmads at the centre of a power struggle.
Speculation has been rife of a snap polls in the east coast state as the rift widens between Menteri Besar Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman and his predecessor Datuk Seri Ahmad Said.
But both factions have been quick to declare their loyalty to Umno and Datuk Seri Najib Razak, further complicating the situation.
Making things worse is state exco and Ajil assemblyman Ghazali Taibm who openly disapproved Razif’s leadership, saying he had lost confidence in the current state government.
“We are Umno. We are Barisan Nasional. What is important is we want Barisan Nasional to remain strong and for Umno and BN to give the best to the people of Terengganu,” he said today.
It comes ahead of next Monday’s state assembly sitting, which could decide whether the state might have to resort to a snap election.
The crisis was first triggered in 2014 following Ahmad Said’s forced resignation to make way for Razif. Earlier in March this year, Ahmad Said sought to move a motion of no confidence against Razif but failed, only to find himself being subject to disciplinary action.
Last Saturday, Ahmad said in a speech criticised not only the MB but also Najib. This was seen as an opportunity to purge him from the party, and the state Umno lodged its complaints with the Umno Supreme Council.
However, Ahmad Said quickly found an ally in Ghazali, which was not surprising, as Ghazali was one of two state assemblymen who followed him out of Umno, before the trio rejoined the party, saving the state government from crumbling.
Ghazali disagrees with any plans to sack Ahmad Said.
And herein lies the dilemma – sacking Ahmad Said would change the fragile power balance in the state.
BN has 17 seats in the state assembly while the opposition consists of 14 from PAS and one from PKR, making up a total of 15 seats.
Ahmad Said only needs to attract one or two more BN-Umno assemblymen in order to bring down Razif’s rule and back the opposition to form a new state government.
That scenario is unlikely, hence the speculation that a snap polls could be the only solution.
The latest crisis is worrying for Najib, who said he was monitoring the situation closely from Jakarta, where he is on an official visit.
“We will tackle the political situation in Terengganu so that the people in the state will not be inconvenienced and I am monitoring, waiting for the report from the MB (Menteri Besar),” he said.