TERENGGANU - Terengganu was thrown into political turmoil following the resignation of its former menteri besar Ahmad Said and two other Umno lawmakers within 24 hours, leaving the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) with only a tenuous hold on the oil-rich state.
As Umno leaders worked to contain the crisis, it sparked a flurry of conflicting media reports.
An aide to Prime Minister Najib Razak last night denied a report in The Star Online that all BN Terengganu assemblymen had been summoned to Putrajaya for talks last night with Datuk Seri Najib, who is Umno president and BN chairman.
Separately, Deputy Prime Minister and Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin was reported to be in Terengganu last night to broker a deal with Datuk Seri Ahmad.
"Insya-Allah (God willing) we will find the best way to resolve this crisis," Tan Sri Muhyiddin tweeted yesterday as he urged the people to remain calm.
The crisis erupted on Monday when a new menteri besar was sworn in to replace Datuk Seri Ahmad, who resigned hours later.
Yesterday morning, two Umno men, Mr Ghazali Taib and Mr Roslee Daud, also quit to become independent assemblymen.
But reports late last night quoted Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Shahidan Kassim as saying that one of the assemblymen, whom he did not name, had returned to Umno.
Until the about-turn, the developments presented the opposition with an opportunity to retake the state it once ruled, with the Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) saying earlier that it was ready to welcome the former Umno assemblymen.
"If they come to us, we give them a warm welcome but (it is) not for us to persuade them to join us," former state PAS chief Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut told The Straits Times yesterday.