Friday, October 1, 2010

Tengku Razaleigh may be Barisan candidate for Galas by-election, Malaysia

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, has a long and solid political background. He is almost impposible to beat in an election. Tengku Razaleigh can win in any election, regardless of which political party he represents.

In the 1969 general election, Tengku Razaleigh won the Parliamentary seat of Kelantan Barat.

In 1971, he was elected to the UMNO Supreme Council, and was elected as a Vice-President of UMNO in 1975.

After Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak's sudden death in 1976, he was appointed as Finance Minister by the new Prime Minister, Tun Hussein Onn.

Razaleigh's planning was reputed to have been the main reason the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, of which UMNO is a member, almost totally defeated the opposition Islamic party of PAS in the 1978 general election and the Kelantan state elections of the same year.

In 1987, Tengku Razaleigh made world history when he challenged the then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for the post of UMNO President. In the tightly contested and internationally publicised election, Dr. Mahathir managed to retain his position. However, UMNO was split into two separate entities as Tengku Razaleigh was left unsatisfied with the result.

The split forced the Malaysian court to declare UMNO as illegal in 1988. Shortly after the court ruling, Dr. Mahathir reestablished UMNO as UMNO Baru (New UMNO), though the new UMNO was badly weakened.

Tengku Razaleigh at the same time went on his own path and found a new political party called Semangat 46 in 1989. The number 46 refers to the year UMNO was originally founded.

Seven years later in 1996, Tengku Razaleigh disbanded Semangat 46 and rejoined UMNO.

In 2004, he announced his interest for the UMNO top post yet again but failed to garner enough nominations to contest the presidency.

In Putrajaya today 1st October 2010, media reported that Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin hinted that Gua Musang Member of Parliament Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah might be fielded as the Barisan Nasional's candidate for the Galas by-election.

Muhyiddin said Barisan was willing to consider fielding the Umno veteran as he believed Tengku Razaleigh was the most suitable, based on his influence and long track record in Gua Musang.

Nevertheless, whether Tengku Razaleigh wanted to contest the seat or he wanted to propose someone else to be considered by the top leadership, was up to him.

"We have always made room for him to nominate candidates and if we think the person can win the seat, that person will be given priority," he told reporters after chairing of the National Social Council's executive committee in Putrajaya on Friday, 1st October 2010.

Muhyiddin was commenting on the call by Kelantan Umno Youth chief Anuar Safian for Tengku Razaleigh to be made the candidate for the Galas seat.

On PAS' claims that choosing Tengku Razaleigh would boost its chances of winning the seat because he was on their side in the matter of oil royalty due to Kelantan, Muhyiddin said PAS was actually "gundah-gulana" (in a dilemma).

"Actually they are at a loss because they know they can never take on Tengku Razaleigh in Gua Musang," he said.

"Tengku Razaleigh has a big influence with the Malay, Chinese, Indian and Orang Asli communites as their members all know him personally. As for the oil royalty issue no one is better qualified than Tengku Razaleigh to explain it," he said.

He said PAS became frightened when the Barisan announced Tengku Razaleigh as the election director for the by-election and now did not know what to do to put up a fight against the coalition.

The Galas state seat fell vacant following the death of its assemblyman Chek Hashim Sulaima, 46, from PAS, on Monday, 27th September 2010 due to cancer.

It is one of three seats in the Gua Musang parliamentary constituency with the other two being Nenggiri and Paloh.

Source - The Star Online / Wikipedia

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