Terengganu Menteri Besar retains post

KUALA LUMPUR • There won't be a change in the leadership of the oil-rich Terengganu state.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday that Mr Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman will remain Terengganu Menteri Besar, after the Premier had an audience with the state's Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin.

Mr Razif was stripped of his state titles on April 23, after incurring the wrath of the sultan that was never detailed in public.

This raised widespread political speculation that the chief minister would be replaced as the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition led by Umno always emphasised good relations with the palace in the nine states with hereditary Malay rulers.

But Datuk Seri Najib told reporters after an event yesterday: "The issue has been resolved", and the Menteri Besar won't be replaced, The Star newspaper reported.

He added, though, that the decision to reinstate any of Mr Razif's titles was up to the palace.

Mr Razif was appointed by Mr Najib in 2014 after then menteri besar Ahmad Said, who was appointed by Sultan Mizan in March 2008, was removed.

The political uncertainty in the past two weeks had even led to speculation of possible state elections in Terengganu, as BN has a narrow two-seat majority in the state assembly with 17 seats. The remaining 14 seats are held by Parti Islam SeMalaysia and one by Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

Mr Razif yesterday expressed his gratitude to Mr Najib for retaining him.

"All speculation and assumptions made the past week have been answered with Najib's public announcement," he wrote in response to a query from the New Straits Times daily.

"I believe that what has transpired has its meaning and lessons," said Mr Razif, who declined to comment further.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 02, 2016, with the headline 'Terengganu Menteri Besar retains post'. Print Edition | Subscribe