Tengku Razaleigh To Contest Umno Presidency

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After keeping Umno members guessing for weeks, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has formally announced he is in the running for the post of Umno president.

The 81-year-old confirmed his candidacy at a press conference at his home in Jalan Langgak Golf, Kuala Lumpur, on Saturday (June 16).

“I humbly offer myself to contest the Umno presidency,” Razaleigh said.

The Gua Musang Umno division chief said this was done after considering the current situation in the party, especially on the leadership.

He will be going up against Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who is assuming the duties of Umno president following the resignation of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in the wake of Barisan’s devastating defeat in GE14.

Earlier, former chief editor of the New Straits Times Datuk A Kadir Jasin said Tengku Razaleigh, also known as Ku Li, is the right and only man to revive a shell-shocked Umno.

The former spokesman for the Council of Eminent Persons said he was not trying to interfere with Umno’s affairs, but wanted the country to have a strong and credible Opposition in Parliament.

Without Ku Li at its head, he said Umno would not likely be able to rise to the occasion.

“Aside from Dr Mahathir, there is no other more experienced than Ku Li in the Dewan Rakyat and he was among those who have known the prime minister the longest in the local political arena,” Kadir said after a damning appraisal of possible candidates to be Umno’s president.

Beyond former president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Kadir said none in Umno would be able to stem the party’s decline and restore it to its former glory besides Ku Li and possibly Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.

However, he said the former youth and sports minister was beset with his own scandals and would not be suited to the role.

Umno is currently headed by acting president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is officially only a vice-president.

Acting deputy president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, another vice-president, has already ruled himself out of contention.