THE New Sunday Times headlines said there's a storm brewing in the east. I think quite differently - I think there's a storm brewing in the whole country. The monsoon from the east could blow across the country and force us to sit indoors.
Umno's decision to sack Kijal state assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Said for agreeing to become the Menteri Besar triggers a potentially explosive encounter with the Terengganu Royalty. Lawyers from Umno and the Palace are now poring over documents to back their claims that each is correct in the issue.
The legalities aside, the common man is quite perplexed over the situation. Two weeks after winning a two-third majority in the state assembly, the Barisan National couldn't still form the state Government as it got stuck in a tussle with the Palace.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi wants Datuk Idris Jusoh to continue as the MB. The Terengganu palace wants Ahmad Said. As for the voters, they just want a state government be formed a soon as possible and business can resume as usual.
An Umno branch chief said Pak Lah should get his forces behind him and not retrack from his position. Pak Lah should do what Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad did when he curbed the powers of the Sultans in the constitutional crisis of the '80s.
But Pak Lah is no Mahathir. And the times, they are also different. When Dr Mahathir took on the Royalty, he had the whole Umno behind him. In fact, he had the whole country behind him too.
Pak Lah doesn't have the whole Umno behind him, and perhaps the whole country too. Coming from a general election where Pak Lah and BN lost its two-third majority in the Dewan Rakyat and five states to the Barisan Rakyat, the Prime Minister goes into the Terengganu 'encounter' already bruised and hurting.
I'd rather not speculate the outcome of the encounter. Both the PM and the Palace need to tread carefully or both could lead the country to troubled waters. As it is, the PM is already facing issues within Umno and the BN.
Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah's call for an extraordinary general assembly and his intention to challenge Pak Lah for the presidency; Jerlun MP Datuk Mukriz's call for Pak Lah to step down; simmering dissatisfaction following the formation of his Cabinet - these are among the rearguard action that the PM is faced with.
Friends who was at the F1 race in Sepang said the PM wasn't in his element, and the crowd's reception wasn't all that encouraging, judging that this was the PM's first public appearance after the March 8 election.
What next, you may ask. My question is - are we about to get to a perfect storm?