MINGGUAN Malaysia published an exclusive interview with Umno supreme council member and Gua Musang division chief Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who gave his views on whether he was experiencing “political upheavals” in the party after Umno failed to capture Kelantan in the 1999 general election.
The paper said that Razaleigh, popularly known as Ku Li, was believed to be the right man to provide the Umno magic for victory in the state.
Razaleigh said everyone should remember that he had said he could not provide any miracle or magic when he led the state Umno in the 1999 elections.
He said Kelantan Umno failed to win because of Malay anger towards the party then, adding that such emotion was also felt in other states like Terengganu, Kedah, Pahang and Perak.
Razaleigh denied he had tried to withdraw from the political scene, saying he was busy with constituents and meeting people at conferences and functions.
He claimed the media was not giving him publicity, with his press conferences or statements rarely highlighted.
Razaleigh said that many of the country’s leaders managed to contribute efforts for the country, although they were not in favour of Umno then.
“I was not sacked or left Umno. When we formed Semangat, (first Prime Minister) Tunku Abdul Rahman advised us to reunite with our Umno colleagues when things had cooled down.
“We have to make sacrifices in our struggles,” Razaleigh said, adding that he decided to stay in the background to make way for the new Kelantan Umno liaison chief Datuk Mustapa Mohamed.
He also commented on Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who was seen as a close supporter during Razaleigh’s days as Parti Melayu Semangat 46 chief.
Razaleigh said everyone had their political principles and Abdullah was no exception.
“Abdullah should be given all the support when he is given the task of leading Umno and the Malays,” he added.
Razaleigh said to ensure Umno wins in Kelantan, the party leadership should be given the opportunity to choose the right leaders for Kelantan.
“These leaders should not be anyone’s proxy but only to Umno,” he added.
Razaleigh said the state Umno liaison chief (Mustapa) should be given support and promoted as the leader of Kelantan.
He said there was no specific formula for Umno to win Kelantan from PAS.
“It will be difficult for us if we are not united and don't have the energy to win the state,” he added.
Berita Minggu highlighted a proposal by Malaysian Syariah Lawyers Association president Muhammad Burok to bring forward a draft to curb any party from issuing statements in contempt of the Syariah Court.
He said the Syariah Court should have the right to take legal action against insulting media reports.
Muhammad said he had prepared the draft and it could be adopted by all states when it was passed.