Tengku Razaleigh –The Perennial UMNO Man

March 30, 2016

Tengku Razaleigh –The Perennial UMNO Man

by Scott Ng


UMNO Man to the End

Many people were shocked last Thursday when Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah joined other Kelantan UMNO figures in signing a declaration of support for Prime Minister Najib Razak.

In retrospect, though, the news should not have been so surprising. More than two weeks earlier, Ku Li did give a hint of where he might be going when he indicated that he would not be party to the Save Malaysia movement of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

The Kelantan Declaration effectively declares unconditional support for Najib in his positions as Prime Minister and UMNO President. This has prompted Mahathir to finger Ku Li as the prime mover, months ago, of a plan to table a no-confidence motion against Najib.

To have Ku Li openly support Najib is undoubtedly a massive victory for the Prime Minister as well as Barisan Nasional. This is especially true when one takes into account the reformist credentials of the Kelantan prince, who in 1988 founded Semangat 46 as an alternative to Mahathir’s “Team A” of powerful warlords

Semangat 46 did not perform well in the 1990 general election, and eventually the party was largely re-absorbed by UMNO. But that run cemented the Tengku’s reformist legacy, and one must wonder what Malaysia would look like today had he become our fifth prime minister. There is no doubt it would look very different indeed, but history has already bestowed the victor the spoils.

It would appear that Ku Li is finally shrugging off the legacy that defined him as a politician for decades. No longer with the reformists but with the establishment, he has made the choice to stand with Najib instead of the Save Malaysia movement. Mahathir can snipe all he likes, but the damage is done, and the ultimate winner in this exchange is Najib.

Indeed, Ku Li had finally relinquished his dream of becoming PM when he announced he would not be running in the next election. It is clear that he had no path to that position whichever side he stands on, though one must hear him explain his actual motivations before making assumptions. It may be that Kelantan will finally get the attention it deserves.

Whatever Ku Li’s true intentions are, we will know only when he decides to tell us, and with politicians, that may mean never.

Then Rising Star of UMNO

Regardless, the Kelantan prince bows out of the political scene causing a wave nearly as big as the one Malaysians saw when he campaigned against Mahathir all those years ago, and the Ku Li as Prime Minister we never really got to know becomes another “what if” to followers of Malaysian political history.

5 thoughts on “Tengku Razaleigh –The Perennial UMNO Man

  1. What consistency that Ku Li was talking about on is declaration when asked? Hope this type of fork tongued speakers would not be leaders. Man of words but not deeds to prove his metal so Ku Li please go on your retirement and enjoy your life in the final stages of your twilight zone.

    Nation can’t afford to have another leader to make a mess like what has been happening in the last few decades, We have to think of our children and grand children’s future. Leaders are so conceited and self centered who only care for their kin today by robbing the country’s wealth to enrich themselves. It’s the result of what we are paying now under this UMNO regime.

    After going through your talks at your popular Resorts and Clubs, I have completely lost the respect for your standing today.You will be another UMNO die hard to appoint the same boot polishing stooges of Najib. It’s most unlikely we could see new horizons in your leadership if ever you replaced Najib.

  2. His defense reply is also suspicious. He says it’s more than just about one man but taking Najib down is a step, not doing changes nothing. He says he is passe and it’s up to the young but why make it harder for them by supporting, seen or real, the current regime?

  3. What wave is Scott Ng referring to when TRH bows out of the political scene? TRH is already a has been politician just like the likes of Rais Yatim. His latest gimmick of signing the worthless Kelantan Declaration aptly describes his political career: a big load of hot air and noises but nothing achieved.

  4. I think both Ku Li and TDM could not trust each other.

    Perhaps, the country can draw some benefits, if Najib would appoint Ku Li as economic adviser and Tun Musa as political and policy advisor for the stipulated transitional period up to 14 GE, during which time making inclusively some relevant,however minor it may be, remedial reformation,to the delivery system and the culture of political party, internally and externally.

    That for a start could be quite appealing to most.

    Effectively, it would likely stabilise the current situation and regain some of the confidence lost due to the excessive media hype brought by and around TDM’s crusade to remove Najib and save Malaysia, SAVE his MACCP= Mahathirism.

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