KUALA LUMPUR – May 3, 2016: The week-long ‘Terengganu turmoil’ has finally calmed down, leading analysts to agree that the state administration will be able to function as usual.
They believe so after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced that Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman will continue as mentri besar.
“If the Terengganu palace and Najib had failed to compromise with each other, then things can get quite problematic, especially for the people,” said Associate Professor Mohd. Azizudin Mohd Sani of Universiti Utara Malaysia.
The problem could even potentially cripple the administration if it had been left to fester.
However, Azizudin added that it is going to be awkward for Razif to brief Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin on state matters after the unpleasant turn of events.
The unease started after Razif’s state awards were revoked by Sultan Mizan and speculation was that it was due to one of Razif’s speech at an event.
“But awkward or not, Razif needs to stomach it,” said Azizudin, “otherwise the turmoil can easily plunge the state into a leadership crisis.”
“Given BN’s (Barisan Nasional) narrow two-seat majority in the state, it could easily lose Terengganu to Pas.
“But the fact that both sides have agreed to let Razif continue his tenure shows that at the end of the day, everything boils down to what’s good for Terengganu and the people,” said the specialist in politics and international relations.
Contrary to most opinions, Dr Azmi Hassan of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia insisted that the problem between Razif and Sultan Mizan may have actually done Terengganu BN more good than harm.
“It shows the solidarity within Umno and BN despite them being embroiled in a sensitive issue,” he contended.
The geo-strategist at UTM’s Perdana School and Geospatial Institute pointed out that all BN assemblymen had been very supportive of Razif, except former MB Ahmad Said.
On whether the problem was an indirect indication that the palace wanted a new MB, Azmi didn’t think so.
He reasoned that if the palace was truly unhappy with Razif, the sultan would have stood his ground and not compromised.
However both academics think it is highly unlikely that Razif will be re-appointed if BN wins the next general election.