Sunday, September 28, 2008
Tengku Razaleigh has urged Umno members to reject the power transition plan.
Razaleigh to go for No. 1
Tengku Razaleigh has urged Umno members to reject the power transition plan. —
Picture by Choo Choy May
By Debra Chong
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said today he will contest the Umno presidency even if Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi decides against defending his post.
He also spoke out against the postponement of the party polls, and urged members to push for the reinstatement of December as the date of the annual general assembly.
Tengku Razaleigh also called on Umno grassroots to reject the latest transition of power plan involving Abdullah and party deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
"I reject this transition of power because it is extra-constitutional," the veteran Umno member told reporters at his home here.
He criticised the transition plan for being unethical as "it is not stated within the party's constitution".
"This is not a game, because the leadership of Umno is also the leadership of the country.
"We have to be more responsible than that. Don't allow people to laugh at us!" he said, noting that the flip-flop political agreement between Abdullah and Najib created great confusion among not only party members but among ordinary Malaysians as well and had turrned the whole country into an international laughing stock.
At the Umno supreme council meeting yesterday, Abdullah and Najib announced the decision to postpone the party's annual general assembly until next March to facilitate an earlier transition of power.
But Tengku Razaleigh said that if they both wanted a transition of power to happen, they should follow the party's code of ethics by holding an election to let the members decide.
"Why are we dilly-dallying?" he asked.
Tengku Razaleigh, or Ku Li as he is affectionately called, has offered himself to be a candidate for the Umno presidency.
He said he was confident of securing enough nominations from the divisions to be able to contest the top party post.
"That's why I am offering myself," he said.
'I'm praying very hard I'll get 140. Then there'll be no opposition," he quipped.