BN backbenchers boycott Terengganu assembly (Update)

(The Star) KUALA TERENGGANU: Several Barisan Nasional backbenchers are boycotting the second day of the Terengganu state assembly in a bid to force Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said to step down.

The eight disaffected assemblymen have gathered at a leading hotel here and are expected to hold a press conference later Tuesday.

The boycott comes in the wake of speculation that a vote of no confidence would be tabled against Ahmad.

On Saturday, Ahmad had warned that any Barisan representative attempting to table such a motion against him would face disciplinary action, including expulsion.

Ahmad, who is also Terengganu Umno chief, described such a move as detrimental to the state Barisan.

On Monday, Batu Burok state assemblyman Dr Syed Azman Syed Ahmad Nawawi of PAS called on Ahmad to dissolve the state assembly and call for fresh elections.

Ahmad’s appointment as mentri besar has been fraught with controversy. Former mentri besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh, who held the post for four years, was Barisan’s first choice but he was not re-appointed due to hiccups with the Terengganu palace.

Idris later resigned as Terengganu Umno liaison chairman.

It is believed that four Barisan assemblymen from the state left for Kuala Lumpur to meet deputy Umno president Tan Sri Muhiyiddin Yassin over the “mentri besar issue”.