KUALA LUMPUR, May 13 ― Terengganu folk woke this morning to shocking news that the east coast state is now in a political deadlock, possibly because their now-former mentri besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said felt slighted when Datuk Seri Najib Razak rejected his proposal to quit after his daughter's wedding reception this Saturday.
In his own words to at least two local news organisations, Ahmad claimed he had asked Najib to allow him to step down as mentri besar after the reception but the Umno president reportedly brushed aside the request as a “personal matter”.
“I have worked in Umno for a long time. I told the PM that my daughter's wedding reception is on May 17 and asked for the change of MB to happen after that.
“He told me that was a personal matter, so I told him not to blame me if I quit the party,” Ahmad, who is also Kijal assemblyman, was quoted in news portal Malaysiakini as saying.
“Is it not enough, all the things that I have done in the five years that I worked as mentri besar?
“I asked to postpone (my resignation as MB) not because I did not want to, but because I just wanted to wait until after my daughter's reception,” he said, according to a report on Astro Awani.
Ahmad Said quit Umno to become an independent assemblyman late yesterday shortly after he stepped down as mentri besar, plunging the state administration into a political crisis.
The 57-year-old was joined by Ajil assemblyman Ghazali Taib in quitting Umno. It is understood that a number of other Umno assemblymen aligned to Ahmad Said are also planning to quit the party.
“Please be informed that I am resigning my position in the party effective immediately. I am also declaring my exit from Umno to be an independent representative for the state constituency of Kijal,” the 57-year-old wrote in a letter dated May 12, 2014 and addressed to Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.
The letter, published by Malay satellite broadcaster, Astro Awani on its website early this morning, did not state any reason for Ahmad’s departure from the ruling party in the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.
Ahmad’s resignation from Umno was announced after Seberang Takir assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Razif Abd Rahman was sworn in last night as the new Terengganu mentri besar.
As it currently stands, both BN and the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) pact are evenly matched with 15 seats each. PAS holds 14 seats and PKR, one.
Ghazali, 51, told a friend late yesterday evening that Ahmad might join PAS and he would follow.
Ahmad, who was reappointed Terengganu mentri besar for a second term on May 9 last year, was forced to step down from office mid-term, reportedly due to the BN’s weakest polls performance in a decade.
BN barely kept the state government with 17 state seats against Pakatan Rakyat’s 15 seats in Election 2013.