May 13 jinx

Posted: 13 May 2014 02:07 AM PDT

No. It's not about the racial riot in 1969 but what's taking place in Terengganu. Its jinx for Umno, for Barisan Nasional and probably for PM Najib Tun Razak.

'Sacked' mentri besar Ahmad Said and his three Adun strongmen from Umno yesterday left the party and became independent state assemblymen for their respective seat.

Some described Ahmad as ungrateful and sour grape. The MB for slightly more than a term ditched the party that took him to the pinnacle of politics, six years after the dramatic takeover of the position from Idris Jusoh.

And the saga is expected to continue. Deputy PM Muhyiddin Yassin rushed to Terengganu today to douse off the fire already burning down the state's Umno. The scenario is 'hostile' and Pakatan Rakyat was waiting in excitement for further development before 'taking over the state government', though not as easy as one thinks.

The attention is zooming down on Najib himself, Umno president. What happened in between Ahmad's resignation and Najib's refusal to extent Ahmad's tenure, are still the hovering questions.

But who is or are Najib's adviser to either sack or force Ahmad to resign? Yes, there was an agreement that the latter should leave office a year after the 13the general election but who drafted the letter, for whom and why?

Najib's manner in attending to Terengganu political woes was mathematically not perfect, and not even near perfect. Factionalism remains high while bickering at division level was a 'pain in the ass' for state leadership.

Umno headquarter was aware of it. However, removing Ahmad was not the answer to settling domestic politics, neither will it pave the way to consolidate its members because Umno - in Terengganu and elsewhere - is in a tight rope.

Najib should have at least learned from what former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad did in 1996 when there were dissensions in Kedah over his decision to appoint Sanusi Junid as the new mentri besar, replacing Osman Arof.

He (Dr Mahathir) did it neatly. 'Menarik rambut dari tepung, rambut tak putus, tepuk tak berselerak', as the Malay saying goes.

Najib could have called up a meeting with all BN (Umno) state assemblyman from Terengganu before 'accepting Ahmad's resignation' or telling him to go. The 'Melayu dalam Umno' are tolerant people and I believe were ready to accept it had a 'heart to heart' discussion was held.

With three Aduns already siding Ahmad, BN is now losing its majority at the State Assembly. In the last general election, BN won 17 while Pakatan Rakyat 15. Minus the 4 now, PR already wins by a seat.

Although it will not be easy for PAS to run down Umno - because Umno can continue to dominate the state by minority rule - there were already calls by people like Lim Kit Siang and Ahmad Sabu for a fresh state election be held to confirm who should rule.

Muhyiddin is facing a daunting task to find an amicable solution to Terengganu crisis. Umno is losing its grip in the state while at the national level, the jittery may cause Najib a heavy toll.

It looks like what happened to Perak in 2009 is befalling Terengganu. Remember what happened?

In 2009, Perak Pakatan Rakyat lost control of the state when three of its assemblymen defected to become BN-friendly independents.

A year-long constitutional crisis ensued, resulting in a mountain of lawsuits and violent stand-offs between the police and PR lawmakers as they tried to wrest back control of the northern state.
But with the support of 31 assemblymen in the 59-seat assembly ― three more than PR's 28 ― BN continued their rule until last year.

In Election 2013, BN emerged victorious in Perak with 31 seats, holding a three-seat majority again to PR's 28 seats.

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