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Saturday September 7, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday September 7, 2013 MYT 12:00:57 PM
Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah speaks during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
KUALA LUMPUR: Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah continues to keep everyone guessing on whether he will take on Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for the Umno presidency.
The 76-year-old former Finance Minister yesterday dodged repeated questions on whether he was considering going for the party’s number one job.
“People are speculating. But I have not yet made a decision and that is the bottom line,” the Gua Musang MP and Umno division chief said at his house.
More than 30 reporters turned up for the press conference at his white-walled residence known as the “White House” located in the city’s posh embassy enclave.
All came expecting the Kelantan prince to announce his presidential candidacy but failed to get any clear answers from him.
Expressing surprise at the large turnout, Tengku Razaleigh said he had called for the press conference due to numerous requests for his views on Umno’s new election system.
This explanation did not deter the media who immediately asked him whether he would defend his division chief post and vie for a top party leadership job as well.
“The intention is there to contest a low-level position. If I say no to that then it would not be true, but (for a higher position) I have not made up my mind.
Tengku Razaleigh holds the record as the country’s longest serving MP and Umno division chief but is best known for almost unseating Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as Umno president in the 1987 party election where he lost by 43 votes.
It was the first of several attempts by Tengku Razaleigh to bid for the party presidency.
First elected as an MP in 1969, Tengku Razaleigh was Kelantan Umno chief for 12 years from 1972 to 1984 and party vice-president between 1973 and 1981.
He set up the splinter Semangat 46 party in 1988 but dissolved it in 1996 to rejoin Umno.
Pestered to confirm his candidacy even after he ended the press conference, the veteran Umno politician said: “I know what you are trying to do but you must remember that I have been in this ‘game’ for a long time.”
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Politics, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Umno polls, UMNO elections, politics
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