Sunday, June 1, 2008

No Intention To Quit Umno, Says Tengku Razaleigh

ALOR STAR, May 19 (Bernama) -- Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said he would not follow Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's decision of quitting Umno although he opined that it might be a good decision to make Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi realise.The Gua Musang Member of Parliament said he had no intention of leaving Umno and would contest the party president's post in December."If I quit the party, I can't contest the post," he told reporters after attending a gathering organised by the Kedah Malays Unity Organisation, here Monday.Tengku Razaleigh said he sympathised with Dr Mahathir who had to quit the party in what he regarded was a sad situation."Dr Mahathair should not have made that decision, but what to do? He must have felt that there was no better way than to quit the party."Tengku Razaleigh said he believed that Dr Mahathir made that decision because he was very angry with Abdullah for refusing to step down after repeatedly being told to do so.Dr Mahathir announced his decision to quit Umno with immediate effect after giving a talk on "The Position of the Malays After the 12th General Election", here.Tengku Razaleigh, a former finance minister and former Umno vice-president, challenged Dr Mahathir for the party president's post in 1987 but lost by 43 votes.He set up and led the Semangat 46 party in 1989 but rejoined Umno after his party was dissolved in 1996.Asked on the possibility of some Umno members following Dr Mahathir's step, Tengku Razaleigh said it could happen."If it does, it could have a deep impact on the party if many follow suit," he added.The Gua Musang Umno division chief said he was, however, shocked with Dr Mahathir's decision as he did not expect it to happen.He regards Dr Mahathir as a leader with vast experience and believes the former prime minister has given a lot of thought and considered all factors before making the decision.He also repeated his call for Umno to hold a special delegates' meeting to discuss returning the powers to the party members.

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