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Terengganu PAS calls for dissolution of state assembly

Terengganu PAS has called for a dissolution of the state legislative assembly to give an opportunity to the people to choose a new government in the state.

KUALA TERENGGANU, Malaysia: Terengganu PAS has called for a dissolution of the state legislative assembly to give an opportunity to the people to choose a new government in the state.

State PAS commissioner Satiful Bahri Mamat said a new election in the state was necessary as the Barisan Nasional (BN) had only 14 state assembly seats, PAS (14), PKR (1) and Independent (3) currently.

"We propose that newly appointed Menteri Besar (Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman), who no longer commands the majority to rule, dissolves the state legislative assembly as this is more gentlemanly," he told reporters at a media conference in Kuala Terengganu on Tuesday.

Earlier Tuesday, former Terengganu Menteri Besar and Kijal state assemblyman Ahmad Said, Ajil assemblyman Ghazali Taib and Bukit Besi assemblyman Roslee Daud declared that they were leaving UMNO and becoming independent assemblymen.

The announcement came after Ahmad Said resigned as the Menteri Besar on Monday and Seberang Takir assemblyman Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman was sworn in as the new Menteri Besar that night.

The newly appointed Terengganu Menteri Besar is expected to meet Prime Minister Najib Razak on Wednesday to discuss the crisis in the Terengganu government. 

Legal practitioners said the crisis in Terengganu is unlike the power transition in Perak in 2009 when BN took over the reins of power from Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

BN would continue to rule in Terengganu, said the legal practitioners contacted by Bernama.

Lawyer Mohd Hafarizam Harun said the situation was different from the 2009 Perak crisis when three PR-elected representatives became independents and expressed support for BN, which at that time had the same number of seats (28) in the state assembly which had 59 seats.

Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir took his oath as Perak Menteri Besar after taking into consideration the stand of the three independent representatives.

In the case of Terengganu, although the three elected representatives from UMNO declared that they were leaving UMNO and becoming independent assemblymen, they had not made a stand to support the opposition.

As such, Mohd Hafarizam said, the three Terengganu elected representatives were still considered state assemblymen from UMNO as they had not declared themselves as "inclined to the opposition" or were out of UMNO as party secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor had so far not received any letter on that.

"At present, the executive power and the MB (Menteri Besar) is Ahmad Razif from BN, and for as long as he does not meet Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin for the state assembly to be dissolved or Ahmad Razif does not table an emergency motion to get a vote of confidence from the state assembly, he remains the MB," said Mohd Hafarizam.

Lawyer Salehuddin Saidin also felt that was no issue in Terengganu as the elected representatives who chose to become independent did not state their support for PAS.

Legal practitioner Malik Imtiaz Sarwar also agreed that the dissolution of the state assembly was the best way, in line with the principles of democracy, and raised the question of whether Ahmad Razif could command the confidence of the majority.

"And, this depends on the three state assemblymen if they want to support or not, and if they do not support the MB, then another new MB has to be appointed, similarly with the Exco which needs a reshuffle," he said. 

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