CHUKAI, Sept 8 — Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi came to Terengganu to open the Kemaman Umno Division delegates meeting today, and liked what he saw.
The Umno vice-president who is discharging the duties of the deputy president was delighted to see Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abd Rahman sharing the stage with two former mentris besar — Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh, who is now Higher Education Minister, and Datuk Seri Ahmad Said.
“It is a sign that the past is behind us and differences have been set aside in the best interest of Umno,” he said in his speech opening the meeting.
Ahmad Zahid expressed confidence that Terengganu would remain in the hands of Umno and the Barisan Nasional after the next general election.
The cooperation among the current mentri besar and the two former mentris besar would ensure that Umno and the BN would retain Terengganu in the 14th general election (GE14), he said.
It would also eliminate all the controversies that were raised up to now, he added.
Ahmad Razif, who is also the Terengganu Umno Liaison Committee chairman, was cheerful and hugged Ahmad once he had completed his speech as the Kemaman Umno Division chief.
Ahmad Zahid praised the spontaneous gesture by Ahmad.
The Deputy Prime Minister said he was confident that the ideas of the three leaders would manifest in all kinds of development for the people because they had the experience to handle any political situation in the state.
Ahmad Zahid said disunity among Umno leaders in the state had led to Umno and the BN losing the state to the opposition.
“However, with priority given to unity, that will not recur. We will only be inviting defeat if we entertain the incitement of those who wish to see us fall,” he said.
On Ahmad’s candidacy in the next general election, Ahmad Zahid said he could not confirm it despite a request from Kemaman Umno but gave the assurance that the opportunity would be there if Ahmad proved his commitment to the party and society.
Up to now, various controversies had cropped up about Ahmad and Ahmad Razif, so much so that it looked like Terengganu had been hit by a political crisis following Ahmad’s resignation as the menteri besar in 2014.
The controversies erupted into a verbal dispute between the two leaders and there was talk of Ahmad wanting to switch to another party but that did not happen as Ahmad insisted on remaining loyal to Umno.
Ahmad had succeeded Idris, now the Besut MP, as the mentri besar in 2008 after the Sultan of Terengganu, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin, did not give his consent for the reappointment of Idris for the second term.
Idris continued to attend events associated with the state government as a sign of support for his successor. — Bernama