KUALA LUMPUR, May 12 — Datuk Seri Ahmad Said has resigned with immediate effect as Terengganu Mentri Besar with his unnamed replacement to be sworn in at the Istana Syarqiyyah in Kuala Terengganu tonight.
Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor confirmed the mid-term change in state leadership but refused to name the second-term mentri besar’s successor.
“I came to meet the state assemblymen... as informed there has been a change (in the mentri besar), and I responded and they accepted without a problem,” Tengku Adnan was quoted saying by state news wire Bernama.
He said the political leadership was waiting for the official appointment letter from the Terengganu palace.
According to local daily The Star, the frontrunner to take over the east coast state is Umno’s Seberang Takir assemblyman and state executive councillor, Datuk Abdul Razif Abdul Rahman, 48.
Air Putih assemblyman Wan Hakim Wan Ahmad, 45, is also reportedly another choice candidate to don the MB’s hat.
Speculation has been rife that Ahmad would be relinquishing his post after the BN coalition’s poor performance at the 13th general elections last year, where it barely kept the state government with 17 state seats against Pakatan Rakyat’s 15 seats.
Under Ahmad’s leadership, the BN also won only half of the eight federal seats in Terengganu.
In Election 2008, the BN coalition had snagged 24 out of 32 state seats under the leadership of the-then Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh, with the remaining eight won by the opposition PAS.
Despite the BN victory, the state Ruler, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin declined to reappoint Idris — the coalition’s choice — as mentri besar for a second term, choosing Ahmad instead.
The four-day impasse between the palace and the ruling coalition nearly caused a constitutional crisis in the state that ended after then-Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi backed down and accepted the Terengganu sultan’s choice.