BN men still bent on Terengganu MB’s removal

By Adib Zalkapli, The Malaysian Insider

Disappointed at being sidelined by the state leadership, a number of Terengganu Barisan Nasional (BN) backbenchers are still determined in their bid to remove Datuk Seri Ahmad Said as mentri besar.

But the lawmakers’ biggest fear is now to be accused of committing treason against the Terengganu Sultan, an allegation which could lead to the group losing the support of the largely rural Malays in the state.

The group also claimed that Ahmad had not consulted BN lawmakers on policy formulation and had appointed unqualified party leaders aligned to him to state GLCs in a bid to strengthen his position.

“We are tired of being publicly humiliated and insulted,” said an assemblyman who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“But we have learnt our lesson from the crisis last year when he was appointed MB. We were called traitors. But by not tabling the motion of no confidence it shows our loyalty to the Sultan,” he said.

Rumours about the attempt to topple Ahmad via a vote of no confidence in the assembly began circulating last week, prompting the MB to issue a statement threatening to sack those responsible from the party, but the assemblyman involved denied that they have attempted to make such move.

An Umno lawmaker claimed that Ahmad had challenged the assemblymen who were opposed to him to resign and pave the way for by-elections.

“His actions only divides the party and would cause our defeat in the next election,” said the assemblyman.

But a state pro-Monarchy group, Mampat, said that the latest revolt was just another act of treason which was launched last year when the backbenchers led by Ajil assemblyman Datuk Rosol Wahid insisted on the appointment of Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh, who has distanced himself from the crisis, as the mentri besar.

“They are just repeating the act of treason, because unlike in Perak where action was taken against those who insulted the Sultan, nothing was done here so they feel like they are above the law,” said Mampat chairman Fauzi Abu Samah.

The group claimed to be neutral and is only interested in the welfare of the people of Terengganu.

“We don't mind who becomes the mentri besar, as long as the interest of the people of Terengganu is protected, but we are not going to allow Idris Jusoh to return,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

The state political crisis which began with the appointment of Ahmad as mentri besar last year reached its peak on Monday night when three pro-Idris lawmakers received death threats allegedly from Ahmad’s office.

The threat resulted in the boycott of the state assembly proceeding on Tuesday by 11 BN backbenchers, but they returned yesterday on the instruction of the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

The Malaysian Insider understands that the lawmakers have submitted a two page report to the national leadership on the death threats and the rumour on the tabling of the vote of no confidence against Ahmad.

Some of them are already in Kuala Lumpur to present their case to Najib.

State backbenchers chairman Rosol said they are leaving the matter for the national leadership to decide and is keeping the palace informed on the issue.

“Everything is going smoothly so far. We will let the leadership resolve the issue in Terengganu,” he told The Malaysian Insider.