MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku



Monday, November 29, 2021

Ku Li: Count me out for GE15 - for real this time


Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah believes his record-breaking political career will finally come to an end at the next election.

The veteran politician has represented Gua Musang (and its predecessor, Ulu Kelantan) in the Dewan Rakyat since 1974, which is the longest continuous stint in Parliament. 

Even former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad and DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang who were first elected in 1964 and 1969 respectively, have not enjoyed such unbroken service.

Prior to that, Razaleigh served a single term in the Kelantan state legislative assembly.

However, the 84-year-old told news portal FMT that the sun appeared to finally be setting on his long career.

"I am old. In the last two elections (in 2013 and 2018) I had also said, 'Count me out,' but I think this time it’s for real.

“The problem I have is that, if I withdraw, the constituency (Gua Musang) may not be a safe one. That was the reason given to me before, that’s why I had to stand in the last two elections,” he said.

Popularly known as Ku Li, he was even dubbed the "Father of Malaysian Economic Development" for his crucial role as finance minister from 1976 to 1984 when Malaysia experienced an economic boom, as well as being featured prominently in the pioneering eras of Petronas and Bank Bumiputera.

Twice in the 1980s, he came close to unseating the formidable and seemingly unmovable Mahathir - once in an Umno presidential battle and secondly, as head of the breakaway Semangat 46 party which spearheaded the Gagasan Rakyat coalition. 

As recently as this year, his name was floated as a compromise candidate for prime minister but he has also come under fire for the poor development of his constituency, particularly with regard to the welfare of the Orang Asli in Gua Musang.

Decision up to party leadership

Razaleigh said that the ultimate decision lay in the hands of the party leadership and should he finally step down, many in the party would be scrambling and fighting to contest for his seat.

"No constituency is safe unless you have people with influence, a strategy that’s acceptable and workable, and you have steady ground support to bolster your votes in the general election.

“Without that, and with no unity, I think you can never say your constituency is safe,” he added.

Known for his royal roots, Ku Li is the great-grandson of former Kelantan Sultan Muhammad III and the granduncle of the current ruler Sultan Muhammad V. - Mkini

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