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Published: Tuesday May 13, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday May 13, 2014 MYT 4:50:26 PM

Ahmad Razif takes over as Terengganu MB

KUALA TERENGGANU: Datuk Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman was sworn in as the ninth Mentri Besar of Terengganu before Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin in a rare late evening ceremony at the Terengganu Palace which was all lit up for the occasion.

Ahmad Razif, who replaces Datuk Seri Ahmad Said, received his watikah or letter of authorisation from the Prime Minister yesterday.

However, Ahmad Said was a no-show at the palace ceremony, fuelling speculation that he had not stepped aside willingly.

Ahmad Said met Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in Putrajaya yesterday morning during which the Prime Minister had thanked him for his contributions to the state.

Najib later said that the Sultan had consented to the appointment of Ahmad Razif as the new Mentri Besar.

Ahmad Said who is Kijal assemblyman then returned to Kuala Terengganu for an audience with Sultan Mizan and to hand his resignation letter.

Ahmad Razif’s appointment is taking place a week after The Star reported that Putrajaya had asked two Terengganu assemblymen to be on standby in connection with the leadership change.

Ahmad Said is believed to have signed a letter agreeing that he would stay on for a year after Barisan came close to losing the state in the general election. Najib had given Ahmad Said a one-year grace because he wanted the Terengganu leader to have a “soft landing”.

The unusual late night swearing-in is believed to be aimed at thwarting any unnecessary developments given that Barisan Nasional is ruling the state with a narrow majority. Barisan has 17 seats against Pakatan’s 15 seats.

Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor and executive secretary Datuk Rauf Yusoh had also flown to Terengganu yesterday afternoon for a closed-door briefing with state assemblymen.

When met by reporters after the session, Tengku Adnan was tight-lipped and would only confirm that Ahmad Said had resigned.

However, it is learnt that Adnan briefed the assemblymen on the change and conveyed the Prime Minister’s views on why the change is taking place.

He also asked them for their cooperation and commitment on the new arrangement.

Ahmad Said was also absent from the briefing.

The new Mentri Besar, who is the Seberang Takir assemblyman has a Masters degree in Science and Counselling from Universiti Putra Malaysia.

In a brief response to the media, Ahmad Razif, 49, said that he loves reading literature on religion and that his favourite destination is Mecca and Medina, the two holy cities in Islam.

He said that he has a sentimental attachment to the seas because he grew up in a kampung near the coast of Terengganu.

He took his oath of office before Sultan Mizan at Istana Syarqiyyah in Cendering here at 9.25pm last night.

“There will not be any drastic changes to the current state administration or the exco lineup or portfolios. We will carry on with the work that has been spearheaded by the previous mentri besar,” said Ahmad Razif after the ceremony.

Tags / Keywords: Politics, Nation, Politics, Terengganu state assembly, Ahmad Said, Mentri Besar, Ahmad Razif

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