Ahmad Said and PM say sorry to each other over 'misunderstanding'

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (3rd left) meets Terenganu Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman (3rd right) at the Prime Minister's office in Putrajaya, May 14, 2014. Former mentri besar Ahmad Said said that he and the prime minister has apologised to each other over the wedding 'misunderstanding'. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (3rd left) meets Terenganu Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman (3rd right) at the Prime Minister's office in Putrajaya, May 14, 2014. Former mentri besar Ahmad Said said that he and the prime minister has apologised to each other over the wedding 'misunderstanding'. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KEMAMAN, May 14 — Former state mentri besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak exchanged apologies over a wedding “misunderstanding”, effectively defusing the political powder-keg that threatened to plunge Terengganu into an administrative crisis.

In a hastily-convened press conference in his home town here, Ahmad confirmed that he, along with Ghazali Taib and Roslee Daud have all rejoined Umno after the prime minister apologised — less than 48 hours after they announced their exit from the party.

“He apologised for the misunderstanding and I apologised for what I did,” Ahmad said.

He added that the misunderstanding started because Najib had mistakenly thought Ahmad’s daughter’s wedding — which was to have taken place at the official residence of the Terengganu mentri besar — would have been over by May 10, not knowing that there was another ceremony slated for May 17.

Ahmad said both he and Ghazali have retracted their resignation letters from Umno.

“We are still Umno assemblyman… all three have returned and we are back to square one,” he added.

The 57-year-old said the events over the last few days have left his daughter “traumatised”, and that resulted in him leaving the party.

“I have a sensitive soul… people cannot be rough with me,” the Kijal assemblyman told reporters.

The Barisan Nasional (BN) which controls the east coast state by a two-seat majority teetered dangerously two days ago when Ahmad and Ajil assemblyman Ghazali quit Umno and declared themselves independent representatives.

Roslee threw in his resignation letter yesterday morning, but retracted it the same day after being coaxed by Umno leaders.

Had the three politicians chosen to remain independent representatives, BN’s share of seats in the state assembly would have dropped to 14 , effectively making the coalition a minority government.

The opposition Pakatan Rakyat holds 15 seats.

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.

The embattled lawmaker claimed he had asked PM Najib to allow him to step down as mentri besar after his daughter’s wedding reception on May 17 but the Umno president reportedly disregarded the request as a “personal matter”, prompting Ahmad to quit the party. 

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