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.