Terengganu crisis can be solved if ‘price is right’, says veteran newsman

A former editor of a leading English-language newspaper suggested a solution of the ongoing Terengganu crisis, saying the three Umno assemblymen turned independent candidates could change their minds if the “price is right”.

“This is just the early stages. Politicians can change their mind freely if the price is right, it is often said that trustworthy politicians don't exist anymore,” Datuk A. Kadir Jasin (pic), former group chief editor of The News Straits Times, said today in a blog post.

Datuk Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman’s appointment as Terengganu’s menteri besar yesterday spiralled into a state-wide crisis for the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition as former menteri besar and Kijal assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Said and Ajil assemblyman Ghazali Taib announced their resignation from Umno and declared themselves as independent representatives, in just a matter of hours.

This led to Bukit Besi assemblyman Roslee Daud announcing today morning his resignation from Umno and declaring himself an independent representative as well.

The move leaves BN with 14 seats in the assembly, against Pakatan Rakyat's 15 in the 32-seat assembly.

Kadir also predicted that the situation will worsen if other state assemblymen followed suit and left Umno.

"It is going to worsen for BN if Umno state representatives follow in the footsteps of Ahmad and Ghazali," he said.

On PAS forming a new state government, Kadir said: “PAS can push for a special sitting to move a no-confidence vote in the menteri besar in view that he does not command the majority in the state assembly.”

The crisis in Terengganu was triggered after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak authorised Ahmad Said’s resignation letter, which he signed before his reappointment as menteri besar for a second term after the general election in May last year.

Najib was said to have refused to budge from authorising the letter, despite Ahmad Said’s plea that his removal only be effective after his child’s wedding on May 17.

Ahmad Said had signed the resignation letter which stipulated he must step down a year after he was reappointed Terengganu menteri besar following the 13th general election last year.

The letter was to pacify Umno members who were not happy with Ahmad Said as menteri besar.

The party agreed that Ahmad Said be allowed to serve as menteri besar for only one more year.

Meanwhile, PAS is alleging that four other state assemblymen are also expected to leave Umno as a sign of protest against the decision made by the prime minister. – May 13, 2014.


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