Tengku Razaleigh explains why he remains with UMNO

April  4, 2016

COMMENT: We are free to choose and live with the choices we make. If so, why must we criticise Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah for making his choice to remain in UMNO. I am, of course, disappointed that he  supports the incumbent scandal ridden UMNO President.

You must be able to separate the party from its President and his cabal. Tengku Razaleigh belonged to UMNO led by Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak and Tun Hussein Onn. Nobody will deny the achievements of UMNO under these leaders. UMNO today, however, is UMNO Baru  which is a kleptocracy, dominated by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad for 22+ years.

After reading this article by FMT reporters, I can understand Tengku Razaleigh’s relationship with former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. Finally, we know from the Kelantanese Prince himself that Tun  Mahathir did not treat him well when the former Premier was UMNO President. Why? Because the Tun was afraid of Tengku Razaleigh, and never forgave the man for challenging him for UMNO Presidency in 1987.

I recall a private meeting I had with Tengku Razaleigh in Paris in 1986 when I was a member of his investment promotion mission to France, Norway, Sweden and Finland. At that meeting, I suggested that he should challenge the Tun for the UMNO Presidency. While he did not react to my suggestion, I was glad that he eventually did. He actually won but he was cheated of the Presidency by vote rigging under the watch of then UMNO Secretary-General (Tan Sri Sanusi Junid). Tengku Razaleigh never trusted Tun Dr. Mahathir ever since.

In my view, Tengku Razaleigh is most qualified to be a caretaker Prime Minister, if Najib is removed as UMNO President by his own party. At 78, Tengku Razaleigh  is not “too old”for the job. When I last saw him two years ago at his “White House” residence in Jalan Langgkak Golf, Kuala Lumpur he was in good health.–Din Merican

Tengku Razaleigh explains why he remains with UMNO

by FMT Reporters


UMNO veteran Tengku Razaleigh has again denied that he was ever aligned with former Premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad but had only supported certain issues in common.

In a press interview, Ku Li, as he is also known, reiterated he was not part of the Citizens’ Declaration initiated by Dr Mahathir, nor would he sign it, and reiterated that he had no ambitions to be Prime Minister, being “too old” for the post.

He said he previously had the opportunity to move up but he had made way for Dr Mahathir instead. He was referring to his days as the most senior UMNO member in Hussein Onn’s Cabinet and the most senior member of the UMNO Supreme Council, but had allowed Hussein to choose Mahathir as Deputy Prime Minister.

Tengku Razaleigh said he had attended a press conference on October 12 in protest against security charges being used against two of Mahathir’s supporters. “I attended and I made a statement at that press conference. But they immediately labelled me as being with Mahathir,” he told Mingguan Malaysia.“No, when have I ever been with Mahathir?” he asked in the interview.

In the 1980s, Tengku Razaleigh challenged Dr Mahathir for the Umno presidency and was narrowly defeated, resulting in a court case that led to Umno being deregistered. Mahathir formed UMNO (Baru) while Razaleigh went into Opposition with a new party Semangat 46, making alliances with PAS and the DAP. He later disbanded the party and joined the new UMNO.

Tengku Razaleigh’s remarks about Mahathir come in the wake of criticism for supposedly having made a U-turn, by recently declaring support for Najib Razak, after having been regarded as part of Dr Mahathir’s campaign to oust the Prime Minister.

He explained that he had attended the October 12 press conference “with the knowledge that I would be protesting the detention of Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and Matthias Chang. It so happens that Chang was my lawyer previously.”

Khairuddin and Chang, both staunch Mahathir supporters, were arrested after they sought to lodge reports overseas against the government’s controversial investment arm, 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

Dr Mahathir has led a year-long campaign to oust Najib, featuring corruption allegations about 1MDB and Najib.

Last week Dr Mahathir accused Tengku Razaleigh of betrayal for declaring support for Najib while also alleging he had tried but failed to get sufficient support for a parliamentary motion against the PM.

Tengku Razaleigh has also been touted as a possible caretaker Prime Minister after forcing Najib to leave. “No, I have been in UMNO way too long and I am too old to become the Prime Minister. I contested in the last election not to go after the prime minister’s position,” he said.

He added that he was “happy” with the way things were now, even without his wife by his side. Puan Sri Noor Yvonne Abdullah died of cancer in June last year at the age of 68. Long time friends, they were married in 1995.

17 thoughts on “Tengku Razaleigh explains why he remains with UMNO

  1. Yes, but much of politics is all about perceptions.

    How do ordinary Malaysians perceive him in the light of his
    recent actions?

  2. Hmm.. He protested against SOSMA, talked about alternatives if Vote of No confidence against Najib and even stated the party system has failed but now he says he is happy with the way things are and do not deny he is supporting Najib. Its not consistent.

  3. Okay, we shall respect his wish but why is that he condones to all the misfits of Najib to support him? Does it mean that he can still support UMNO even the leaders of this unscrupulous party loot the wealth of this country? I am sure he is aware of the consequences of the nation of such ministers and the system mismanaging the wealth. Do you, Ku Li support the looters bringing down the country?

    I am sure Ku Li would have read of the foreign news on Najib’s corruption which has been covered extensively. Despite all these negative reports on PM and Ku Li still supports Najib as PM is what surprises me of his motive. Was there any understanding with Najib for Ku Li to take over as PM though he denies of any interest? Though as Din suggests that Ku Li is still fit as a fiddle at 78 what guarantee is there he will not be cowed by the stooges of UMNO. Do you mean to say there isn’t anyone to replace Najib other than Ku Li?

    Well, Mahathir is neither an Angel but the least he could do is to stop the rot in collaboration with opposition though the opposition had to swallow the bitter pill they had undergone during his reign.

    It’s of my view that Ku Li cannot be trusted looking at his stand with UMNO. As human, we must have a leader with certain integrity and high morals to rule a country to the benefit of the people. For the last six decades, Umno has been filthy in its money looting to make the supporters rich at the expanse of others who merely want to live peacefully in this beautiful nation. Even a satay seller has turned millionaire driving posh cars.

    Year after year, AG reports of mismanagement of finances of various ministries and many UMNO goons get away free from our courts for reasons not very convincing either. This same Azalina when she was the Minister of Sports and culture formerly, there was so much talk on corruption in her ministry and nothing had come out it till now. Now another case is pending with over RM130m.

    Can Tengku Rzaleigh play hero in performing miracles in cleansing when he takes over from Najib? The rut will remain. We need a complete overhaul to show the new beginning where possible. Let that new era be beneficial to the future generation.

    My solemn wish is that Ku Li, please go on a new honeymoon at this twilight zone because you’re still strong and fit. Let others do the job. We cannot see the new horizons in you when you take over.

  4. TRH. At your age, with all the experiences in decades of politic, u must have alot of wisdom in your heart a man need. Whatever choice u make I hope the nation has a place in your heart.

  5. As an ordinary wage-earner just like millions of other Malaysians, I see Razaleigh as an opportunistic old man without any courage, moral or dignity. He is unfit to lead the country even though he is touted to be very capable and has the highest pedigree to do so.

    How on earth can he be the “chosen one” when he kept quiet for decades to the cronyism and corruption in UMNO Baru while he reaps his perks as an MP! There were only 2 situations when he came out to speak against Najib and his destruction and robbery of the country:
    1. When he appears as “honourable speaker” during the luncheons at exclusive clubs in front of selected few. Perhaps, receiving honorariums for his speeches.
    2. On 12 October, when it was obvious that if he does not come out and be seen to make the right noise, he will be left behind.

    Apart from that, he didn’t even squeak like a mouse to Najib’s wrongdoings.

    And the fact that he signed the Kelantan Declaration in support of Najib is testimony of his (lack of ) moral and dignity. That he brushed off the paper as something trivial is an even worse testimony that he is prepared to stoop extremely low to achieve what he wants personally. And Kadir Jasin’s speculation that this is Najib’s tactic to stepping down WITHOUT being prosecuted and having Razaleigh replace him …. if Razaleigh is to cut a deal like that, he will be betraying Malaysia and Malaysians.

    Please! If Mahathir is evil, Razaleigh is a close second.

  6. He is morally defunct and unfit to represent the rakayat. Cloaked he may be in royalty garb, he is no different from any of the corrupted UMNOMelayu elitists. How many generation will it take for Malaysian to repay the massive national debt due to these corrupted leeches.

  7. This guy has been embarking on quite an extensive PR campaign to justify his u-turn. But he keeps conveniently ignoring the core accusation that Mahathir had levelled at him: that one Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah was the one who had first approached Mahathir with a plan to topple Najib in Parliament through a vote of no confidence. Why didn’t the reporters raise this point? Quite shoddy reporting, if the basic question was not even asked, don’t you think.

  8. I don’t know what the fuss about Ku Li remaining with UMNO, much ado about nothing. Like the nonagenarian Mahathir, he is a diehard UMNO man. They both believe UMNO is Malaysia, what is good for UMNO is good for Malaysia, and if there is no UMNO there will be no Malaysia. Nona apparently has left UMNO but actually has not left it. His son is still with the racist party. Nona is not trying to do any good for Malaysia but for his son in UMNO. For there is no Malaysia, there is only UMNO.

  9. TRH is a political has been. Talks a lot but when it matters most to save the country, he turns his back. Stop giving him the space to seek publicity and to project him as a patriot

  10. TRH is supporting a xorrupt UMNO made up of corrupt sycophants who are supporting the most PM in Malaysia’s history. So it does not make any sense for TRH to remain in UMNO supporting a corrupt party unless he himself is part of the corrupt regime. As the saying goes, you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours or in Najib’s words “lu tolong gua, gua tolong lu”.

  11. This is a strange one.

    The most positive “spin” that can be placed on it is that TRH is merely a victim of poor timing. If there is an agreement that he should take over from NR, then he cannot be seen to be whacking hm publicly.

    There are some problems with this theory, however – for one, Is NR really stepping down? I do not think so. He will surely cling to power unless physically removed from Seri Perdana. If that means Mugabe-like tactics over the next 2-3 years, so be it. I feel that’s what we can “look forward” to.

    Also, the UMNO elites would be far more comfortable with Zahid, a man who shares their complete moral and intellectual bankruptcy.

    Will Ku Li as head of UMNO say no to the cash & contracts patronage machine?

    Surely he will not last long if he does.

    Zahid, on the other hand, will keep the dedak flowing freely. The Perak boys will all have taut bellies.

    The more likely explanation is that TRH is just tired and wants to be left in peace.

    Removing a deeply-entrenched criminal from office is strenuous work.

  12. On the larger picture, democracy does work well, but it is the squabblings, the mistrusts and the lack of integrity of the political leaders that have corrupted and derailed the democratic system for abuses ( MACCP) and the blame game that had
    failed the people and nation.

    The leaders (TDM , Najib, Sanusi, Ku Li are among other top leaders) from Umno Baru, post 1980 have been major players,leaving behind the rogue culture deeply entrenched in the party that is not only disenabling the party but the dilvery system of the country.

    Why then,Ku Li or anyone still wants to remain in Umno Baru?
    Tunku and Tun Hussien 0nn never rejoined after leaving.

  13. “On the larger picture, democracy does work well, but it is the squabblings, the mistrusts and the lack of integrity of the political leaders that have corrupted and derailed the democratic system for abuses ( MACCP) and the blame game that had failed the people and nation,” Kllau.

    How could you have democracy if you don’t want to have squabbling?

  14. Ku Li no longer harbors ambition to be PM or even an interim PM, so why do so many people keep pushing him to step forward. He’s happy to be MP for Gua Musang well at least his constituency is famous for the Musang King. Perhaps he’s happy to be “the” Musang King.

  15. Ku Li is not consistent and is an opportunist and a big disappointment – just like the Sultan of the silver state… nuff said…

  16. The time came in the late 80s for public servants and leaders to declare their wealth. But due to Mr. Tai Chi the powers were able to dilute it. Look East Policy may be a place to start. And while we are at it may be also a Look South Policy may also be relevant.

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