KUALA TERENGGANU: As speculation swirls that Barisan Nasional will field Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (pic) as its candidate in the upcoming Galas by-election, a PAS vice-president claimed that such a move would kill the political career of the Kelantan prince.
“I strongly believe that is why Umno is toying around with the idea of nominating Tengku Razaleigh,” said Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.
“It is a covert attempt to assassinate him politically,” he told reporters at a PAS Youth event in Marang, near here, on Friday night.
The Barisan had appointed Tengku Razaleigh as its election director for the Galas seat which fell vacant following the death of incumbent PAS assemblyman Chek Hashim Sulaima of lung cancer last week.
Chek Hasim, 46, won the seat, located in Tengku Razaleigh’s parliamentary constituency, with a 646-vote majority over Barisan’s Saufi Deraman in the March 2008 general election.
Speculation has been rife that the Barisan will nominate the former finance minister and Semangat 46 president as its candidate in Galas.
Tuan Ibrahim alleged that Umno realised it would be tough to wrest the state seat from PAS and that is why it is considering Tengku Razaleigh as the candidate.
“From a political viewpoint, Umno is trying to make Ku Li its prey and to eliminate him politically,” added Tuan Ibrahim.
However, he reiterated that PAS was unfazed about whoever is nominated by Umno and the Barisan.
He said the PAS headquarters would meet today to discuss preparations for the by-election.
Tuan Ibrahim said several names from Kelantan had been proposed and would be shortlisted by the party’s majlis syura (council of religious scholars) before the final selection is made.
In Kota Baru, Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat said Barisan was attempting to reduce the Kelantan prince’s stature by asking him to contest the seat.
“It will be beneath him to be the assemblyman for Galas in view of his long and chequered career as a politician,” he told reporters after opening the annual general meeting of Pertubuhan Kerabat Raja Jembal Kelantan.