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Wednesday March 26, 2008

Ahmad starts work with mixed feelings

First day at work as Terengganu MB

KUALA TERENGGANU: Controversial figure Datuk Ahmad Said began his first day at work as Mentri Besar at Wisma Darul Iman, at 8am here yesterday.

He entered the state administrative building at 7.50am and was escorted by security personnel and a group of supporters.

New role: Ahmad (left) speaking to reporters at his first press conference in his new capacity as Mentri Besar at Wisma Darul Iman in Kuala Terengganu yesterday. With him are state secretary Datuk Mokhtar Nong (centre) and state Economic Planning Unit director Datuk Adzlan Dagang.

There was heavy police presence at the entrance of the building to control Ahmad’s supporters who had gathered outside with banners.

Ahmad was greeted by state secretary Datuk Mokhtar Non and other high-ranking officials, and ushered to the 16th floor where the Mentri Besar's office is situated.

However, he seemed reluctant to step into the office, located on a floor where the walls were covered with portraits of Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh.

Ahmad then led the assemblage to a prayer room to recite the solat hajat to give thanks.

Supporters embraced Ahmad, who has yet to be sworn in, as he made his way out to meet the press at the office foyer.

In one of his first statements in his new role, Ahmad said he intended to continue the good work of his predecessor Idris. He admitted that his feelings were a mixed.

“We are both best of pals. I met Idris in Putrajaya just recently and we spoke as close friends,” he said.

Asked about his initial functions, Ahmad said Mokhtar had briefed him on matters related to administration and spearheading development projects.

Ahmad assured the people that all projects set in motion by his predecessor, including the Monsoon Cup, would be continued.

“However, there will be several minor changes,” he added, declining to elaborate.

To a question, Ahmad replied that it was difficult not to accept the position of Terengganu Mentri Besar after being selected by the palace.

He was also hopeful that the 22 assemblymen protesting his appointment would “cool down soon” to pave the way for him to appoint his executive councillors.

“I foresee no problems in the new state exco line-up. Time will heal any discontent.

Ahmad then told reporters that he was rushing to a meeting in Putrajaya but when asked if he was going to meet the Prime Minister, he replied: “That’s a secret.”


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