The opposition is trying to paint the recent Terengganu episode as a crisis. In fact, they are even labelling it a Constitutional Crisis and are equating it to the Perak crisis of five years ago when the Pakatan Rakyat state government lost power due to three crossovers, two from PKR and one from DAP.
Actually, it was merely a storm in a teacup and a minor misunderstanding that was easily resolved.
What happened was that it was agreed a year ago soon after the 5th May 2013 general election that the Menteri Besar, Ahmad Said, would stay on for just another year and then resign to make way for his replacement. And that would make his resignation affective from 5th May 2014.
Mat Said, as he is popularly called, however, had scheduled his daughter’s wedding for 10th May 2014. Hence Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak postponed his resignation to the day after that.
What the Prime Minister did not realise is that there was to be as second ceremony a week later, that is on 17th May 2014.
For Malays, a daughter’s wedding is very important, as the girl’s family must ‘play host’. It is not so crucial for the boy’s family and they can also hold a second ceremony later or not hold one at all if they so wish.
Hence many would regard Mat Said’s resignation as a slap in his face because it happened in between the two wedding ceremonies. For that matter, any Malay would view this as a form of insult.
The prime Minister has since apologised for confusion in date of wedding and has, in fact, indicated that he would be attending the wedding. There is no better gesture than this and the Prime Minister acted in a most diplomatic manner, contrary to what some say in that the Prime Minister had not acted diplomatically enough.
It is also Malay culture that the greatest honour you can give someone is to attend his or her child’s wedding. It has been known that people who have been enemies for years have turned friends just because one attended the other child’s wedding.
If Pakatan Rakyat is hoping that this so-called ‘crisis’ is going to leave the field open for a change of government this may just be wishful thinking and if it does happen it will certainly not be because of a mix-up in wedding dates.