Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Terengganu showdown looms

Terengganu plunged into crisis today..

These two news article were taken from Malaysiakini and The Malaysian Insider respectively

News# 1
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BN rebels move to oust Terengganu MB
Apr 14, 09 11:02am

More than half of Barisan Nasional backbenchers today did not turn up at Terengganu state assembly sitting today in a move related to their bid to oust Menteri Besar Ahmad Said.

Ten of the 14 BN backbenchers in the state assembly are said to have "boycotted" the second day of the sitting as plans are being made to force Ahmad to step down.

It is believed that the failure of the state representatives to be present at the assembly is linked to ‘death threats’ which some of them had received yesterday.

Late last night, three assemblypersons have lodged a police report saying that they received an SMS warning them against moving a motion of no-confidence against the MB.

Paka assemblyperson Zakaria Abdullah, Abdul Halim Jusoh (Permaisuri) and Rosol Wahid (Ajil) lodged their police reports shortly after midnight following the SMS ‘death threats’.

According to Bernama, Abdul Halim said they received the SMS at about 11.20 last night from an individual believed to be a government official.

They were warned not to proceed with their plan to oust the MB.

"As a senior state government official, he should not threaten anyone, what more a state assemblyman like me. You cannot make threats on people's lives... I don't know why I was targeted," he said.

Of the 32 seats in the state assembly, BN controls 24 while opposition has eight seats.

Umno divided

Ahmad had on Saturday warned those who attempt to table a motion of no-confidence against him would face disciplinary action, including expulsion from the party.

Ruling party Umno is deeply split on the issue of who should be the state menteri besar.

Former MB Idris Jusoh was the then prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s choice but this was opposed by Terengganu palace headed by King Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.

The Terengganu sultan has backed Ahmad to helm the state and after a brief stand-off, Abdullah relented.

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News# 2

Terengganu BN revolt

APRIL 14 – The end is near for Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said after 10 Barisan Nasional (BN) state lawmakers boycotted the state assembly today in a bid to force his resignation.

Bernama named the absentees as Tepoh assemblyman Muhammad Ramli Noh, Mohd Zawawi Ismail (Kuala Berang), Abdul Halim Jusoh (Permaisuri), Datuk Din Adam (Bukit Besi), Datuk Rosol Wahid (Ajil), Alias Abdullah (Alor Limbat), Zakaria Abdullah (Paka), Ramlan Ali (Jabi), Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh (Jertih) and Mohd Pehimi Yusof (Kota Putera).

Ahmad’s position as BN’s mentri besar has become increasingly untenable amid talk that his own party men were planning to table a no-confidence vote against him.

The seeds of this revolt were planted when Ahmad was put in place as BN’s mentri besar soon after last year’s general elections in place of the incumbent Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh.

Idris was not reappointed due to friction with the Terengganu palace.

But The Malaysian Insider understands that the palace will have no objections to Ahmad’s removal as MB if he is unable to hold the government together.

Ahmad had warned that any BN men involved in moves to table a no-confidence vote against his government faced expulsion.

The BN rebels are now believed to be holed up in a hotel and are expected to speak to reporters shortly.

A number of BN assemblyman are said to have met with deputy Umno president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to obtain “official sanction” for the revolt.

The Malaysian Insider understands that Ahmad had been picked to be MB last year because he was untainted and was relatively popular among the grassroots.

But he has been seen in recent months to become “vicious”, especially in the removal of various heads of state agencies.

Yesterday, three BN lawmakers also lodged police reports for allegedly receiving death threats in text messages related to the planned no-confidence vote.

The Malaysian Insider understands that some of the text messages have been traced to individuals associated with the MB.

The three assemblymen alleging the death threats are Datuk Rosol Wahid (Ajil), Zakaria Ariffin (Paka) and Halim Jusoh (Pemaisuri).

“As a senior state government official, he should not threaten anyone, what more a state assemblyman like me,” Halim told reporters at the Kuala Terengganu police headquarters. “You cannot make threats on people's lives ... I don't know why I was targeted.”

Asked whether he would inform the mentri besar of the threat, he said he would not do so because he had lodged a police report, Bernama reported.

Besides the palace, it is understood that the senior leadership of Umno also has no objection to a change of leadership in the state government.


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