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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ask PM, says 'stripped' menteri besar

Speculation is raging over the reasons behind the Terengganu palace’s decision to strip state menteri besar Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman of all his honorific titles.

Among others, reports have claimed that the ruler Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin was livid with Ahmad Razif’s decision to award an island to controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.

There was also another claim of the sultan being irked by a speech delivered by the menteri besar last week.

The speculation concerning Zakir, however, drew flak from a portal aligned to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

“These matters (reports linking the preacher to the issue) can be interpreted as an attempt to put the people at loggerheads with the Malay rulers.

“Why should these reports be publicised? Is it aimed at sowing anger and dissatisfaction among the people towards the sultan?” asked

The state government had offered the island in the area of Kenyir Lake to Zakir for him to construct the South-East Asia Islamic Research Foundation.

However, the man at the centre of the saga has chosen to remain silent, preferring instead to let Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak answer all the questions.

Ahmad Razif said this when mobbed by reporters after he chaired the state executive council meeting in Wisma Darul Iman in Kuala Terengganu.

“Ask the PM,” he was quoted as saying by Utusan Online when pressed on the matter.

On Monday, the Terengganu palace issued a statement confirming that Ahmad Razif’s tittles were removed effective April 22, and this added more fuel to the talks of a leadership change.

Hours earlier, Najib urged all quarters not to speculate on the issue, adding that the state government is functioning as normal.

The prime minister, who was then in Kuching for the Sarawak election nomination, also revealed that he has sought an audience with the sultan to discuss the matter.

It was Najib’s administration who appointed Ahmad Razif, who replaced then incumbent Ahmad Said in 2014.

The move had triggered a short-lived crisis, which saw the former menteri besar resigning from Umno and later returning to the fold.

In March, Ahmad Said attempted to move a no-confidence motion against his successor, but this was rejected by the state assembly speaker.

As for the latest crisis, the former menteri besar claimed to be in the dark as he was away in Sabah participating in a golf tournament. - Malaysiakini

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