KUALA LUMPUR: Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah could be bowing out of politics once the 15th general election is called, after serving as an elected representative for more than 50 years.
In an interview with FMT, Malaysia’s longest-serving MP admitted that he wanted to call time on his long political career due to his age, though this was ultimately up to the Umno leadership.
“I’m a bit old now. Actually, not ‘a bit’. I am old,” said the Kelantan prince and Gua Musang MP with a chuckle. “I’ve said this many times. The last two elections (GE13 and GE14) I had also said, ‘Count me out,’ but I think this time it’s for real. It depends on the party leadership.
“The problem I have is that, if I withdraw, the constituency (Gua Musang) may not be a safe constituency. That was the reason given to me before, that’s why I had to stand at the last two elections,” he said.
Tengku Razaleigh, familiarly known as Ku Li, said many in the party would be scrambling and fighting to contest for his seat should he choose to step away, as it seemed to be a secure seat for Umno.
However, Gua Musang only seemed to be safe for Umno due to several factors.
“Actually, 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,” said Tengku Razaleigh.
One of the few members of royalty to have thrown their hats into the political arena, he is the great-grandson of Sultan Muhammad III of Kelantan and also the granduncle of the state’s current ruler, Sultan Muhammad V.