Analysts think it’s risky for Umno to sack Ahmad Said


Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – March 9, 2016: Political analysts are of the opinion that the Barisan Nasional Terengganu government will likely collapse if Umno is to sack former menteri besar (MB) Datuk Ahmad Said for tabling a motion of no confidence against his successor Datuk Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman yesterday.

They deemed that Umno need to be careful because such a sacking will tip the scale of power that will eventually cause BN to lose Terengganu to Pas.

The analysts who spoke to The Mole insisted that a change in the Terengganu government will happen in that case because of BN’s narrow two-seat majority in the state legislative assembly.

Interestingly, the political impasse had once happened in 2014 when Ahmad along with two of his loyalists quit Umno resulting in the state to have a minority government.

Ahmad did so after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak rejected his proposal to quit as the then-MB, which he had promised the latter to do so in 2013, after his daughter’s wedding reception.

However, Ahmad who is the assemblymen of Kijal along with Roslee Daud (Bukit Besi) and Ghazali Taib (Ajil) made a U-turn back to Umno immediately after that.

Yesterday, Ahmad tried to stage another impasse by tabling the no-confidence motion against Razif at the State legislative assembly.

But his bid to oust Razif was foiled when the motion was rejected by State assembly speaker Datuk Mohd Zubir Embong for not following proper procedure.

As it is now, Terengganu BN has 17 seats whereas the opposition has 15 seats (Pas: 14, PKR: 1).

“Like it or not, the situation in Terengganu is akin to ‘telur di hujung tanduk’ (threading on eggshells),” said Dr Jeniri Amir of Universiti of Malaysia Sarawak.

“If Umno sack him, he will walk-over to the other side and he only needs to bring one more person with him to change the status quo,” he said.

Jeniri said Ahmad was probably motivated to table the motion due to the” insensitivity” of the current Terengganu administration.

“From what he (Ahmad) argued, it sounded to me like the current state government is jeering his past leadership.

“So this is what happens when a person has had enough,” said Jeniri, “And I don’t think he will keep quiet even if his attempt was foiled yesterday.”

“In fact, I think he is just warming up and that the real deal is yet to come,” Jeniri told The Mole adding that the Umno leaderships needs to  properly handle Ahmad’s grouses.

Dr Azmi Hassan of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia also echoed similar view on the risk of sacking Ahmad from Umno.

“Taking into consideration that Umno is being attacked from almost all directions, it is best to leave Ahmad as an Umno member.

“After the previous general election, Teregganu BN has always been in a weak position due to lacking a strong majority in the state legislature,” Azmi said.

He also reasoned that Ahmad must have made a pact with Pas because without the support from Pas assemblymen, “he will never dare to go through with the no confidence motion”.

Although sacking Ahmad was a big ‘no-no’, Azmi said that he must not be let off scot-free.

“Disciplinary actions must be taken against him because his action is detrimental to the state government,” said Azmi who reasoned that Ahmad’s action was personally motivated.

He added that sacking Ahmad would make it harder for BN and Umno to deal with him.

Jeniri and Azmi, however, did not think that Ahmad’s no-confidence motion was part of a grand design by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to oust Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Instead, they pointed out that Ahmad was merely trying to take advantage of the country’s current political situation in the country.

Ahmad’s tenure as the 13th Terengganu MB between 2008 and 2014 had been controversial.

His appointment as MB was seen by many as causing a divide among Terengganu Umno members ,which resulted in the less than convincing BN’s win in the state in the last general election in 2013.



About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at [email protected]