|Former and current MB seen together after motion for vote of no confidence|
The former MB of Terengganu, Dato Ahmad Said made a surprise vote of no confidence motion at the Terengganu state assembly on Tuesday.
It was not expected to get carried or passed. Speaker Dato Mohd Zubir Embong rejected the motion on basis of no notice given and some standing order issue.
It could be considered a surprise since yours truly met him in his room at Hilton Sentral about 3 months before his removal by Sultan. When asked who he felt was the right successor to him, he mentioned current MB, Dato Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman.
The latest move can only be expected of maverick Mat Said, as he is often called and his gedebe kampong style politics. Not sure how do they pronounced the Kelantanis term, gedebe in Terengganu. The nearest translation in English is macho.
In his own way, he can be quite an endearing leader.
Mat Said is the sort of local leader who could stop a bread truck on the road to seize and give away bread to flood victim. He climbed on roof to help out kampong folks building new homes.
Like any kepala in a kampong, he has no shame to express his anger and called the PAS opposition names in the honourable state assembly.
Mat Said took the challenge and willingly accept Sultan's appointment and take on the successful and respected MB Dato Idris Jusoh. And when it was his turn to face the wrath, he had no qualms to do manouvres which he knows will be in vain.
Mat Said is no Hishamuddin. He will not shy away from controversies.
He could endear himself with the common folks. At the same time, he can say something so frank that it arouse their disgust. His non-conformist and dramatic ways may not be something traditionalist and conservative within UMNO could stomach.
Despite his gedebe kampong ways, he did atracted RM16 billion FDI in a year to Terengganu. He made corporate man Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and Teresa Kok's RM1 billion for Selangor that same year pales in comparison.
Behind the motion
Back to his latest news making move, there is this expectation that Tun Mahathir will do a 1-2-3 bang this Friday. After quiting UMNO, and initiating a opposition coalition, taking over Terengganu would be a nice revenge for the removal of Dato Mukhriz.
Maverick Mat Said was seen with Tun M at a press conference in Yayasan Kepimpinan Perdana in Putrajaya sometime back. He had been vocal on the TIA/1MDB issue. He accused TIA was going to put Terengganu's oil revenue as collateral.
Not exactly so technically, but that's communicable for the common folks in rural Teregganu.
Anyway that attempt was thwarted for the time being. From the 17 BN ADUN, 16 have signed a pledge of support for Razif. Since game is over, Haji Hadi said PAS would not join move to remove MB Terengganu.
So the usual comment and cliche from UMNO.
Razif said action prompted by certain quarters but he denied being involved in a conspiracy to humiliate him. Thus far what is heard is that Razif changed a housing project initiated by Mat Said and the affordable home prices was raised to a not so affordable RM250,000 per home for rural folks.
Parliament Speaker, Dato Pandikar Amin Mulia slammed ex-MB for the ambush in support of Zubir's action. There is the possibility that Zubir's move could be put in question since in 1961, a Menteri Besar was removed by a surprise vote of no confidence.
There is also the exchanges between Dato Azlina Osman and Mat Said. Azalina accused him of trying to do anything to be MB again and mentioned the word divorce. The two wives Mat Said reacted to say she does not know what divorce is.
The exchanges are irrelevant. But, Mat Said has a point to say Azlina do not know Terengganu politics.
University analysts warned UMNO to not sack Mat Said's maverick move since UMNO is surviving on a thin 2-seat majority. Fine, but it is merely stating the obvious. [Read The Mole here].
UMNO may not be able to sack Mat Said because there could be justification and one similarity between Mukhriz and Razif. As the link person that arranged for our meeting in his room said, Razif, just like Mukhriz though not openly known, lost the palace's confidence.
In addition, Mat Said's motion may have the support of 11 ADUN. Though they signed the SD, they too lost confidence in Razif. During the motion by Mat Said, only Kuala Berang state assemblymen, Tengku Putera Tengku Awang spoke against Mat Said.
Mat Said have been reported saying he has no intention to quit UMNO. Source said it was not a drama or any intention by Mat Said to bring down the BN government. His heart is still with UMNO.
Same source said he has been sending feelers to Dato Najib to meet and explain the situation on the ground with regard to Razif. He may want to assure Najib that his lone fight has nothing to do with anyone.
He was not at the Citizens' Declaration announcement and denied Tun M is behind his move.
Being the maverick he is, Mat Said may not need Tun M. If he is on Dato Najib side now, he is the sort of character that would be loudly calling Tun M as natang for being in alliance with DAP. Seen as a uncontrollable wild man to many, but he has his own mind.
The question on everyone's mind will be why he has to put up the motion first before attempting to meet Najib.
Being the gentleman Najib is, it is unlikely he is comfortable with volatile character like Mat Said. Even though he is no more seen publicly in the company of Tan Sri Muhyiddin, Dato Shafie Apdal and Mukhriz lately, it needs more to convince Najib.
Najib will trust the Terengganu men in his office and cabinet. And none are, to put it mildly, fond of Mat Said.
Some may feel pity to Mat Said. He should know better that UMNO culture do not entertain maverick. The more vocal will say jangan layan or accuse him as kaki wayang or even gila tak sedar diri.
But, in is maverick way, it could be him sending a loud message that things are not doing as well to PM Najib's choice to replace him. The ground in Terengganu is not white or grey status but black.