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Terengganu political crisis averted

Three UMNO assemblymen in Terengganu, who had earlier declared themselves independents, retracted their resignation letters to avert a crisis in the state. 

KUALA TERENGGANU, Malaysia: Former Terengganu menteri besar Ahmad Said has pledged his full support for his successor, Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman.

"I'll take care of Kemaman (a district in Terengganu) and my constituency (Kijal). If I used to take care of the whole state before, now I'll be looking after Kemaman. I will help him as long as I serve as an assemblyman," Ahmad told a news conference at his residence in Terengganu on Wednesday.

Ahmad, 57, who is Kijal assemblyman, said he would continue to serve UMNO, the party he had been with since he was 19.

"I'll help. Just imagine, once we'd lost Terengganu to PAS (1999-2004), I toured the state to win back the state for UMNO, gave talks day and night," he said.

On a suggestion that he had betrayed UMNO by quitting the party after his successor was sworn in, Ahmad said: "The question does not arise. This is a matter of struggle. The love for UMNO made me come back. If I were a traitor, I would have affiliated myself with PAS."

Ahmad said he was approached by several PAS members who persuaded him to join the party, but he turned it down.

Terengganu was thrown into a political quagmire after Ahmad quit UMNO after his successor, Ahmad Razif, who is also Seberang Takir assemblyman, took the oath of office.

Ahmad Said's decision prompted two more UMNO assemblymen, namely Ghazali Taib (Ajil) and Roslee Daud (Bukit Besi), to follow suit.

The trio declared themselves independents but Roslee retracted his resignation letter on Tuesday, followed by Ahmad and Ghazali on Wednesday to avert a crisis to enable the status quo to remain. 

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