If there are no other senior Umno leaders who are qualified to be named as the prime ministerial candidate for the 15th general election, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah would be deserving of the position, said Umno veteran Mustapha Yaakub.
“If every Umno supreme council leader isn’t qualified to become prime minister, I would like to say: Ku Li is qualified.
“Why isn’t his name being suggested?” Mustapha said to Malaysiakini.
Tengku Razaleigh is popularly known as Ku Li.
He is one of the most veteran members of Umno and has represented the Gua Musang parliamentary constituency for the past 12 terms, since 1974.
During the Umno party elections last year, Tengku Razaleigh was in the running for the president position but lost to Bagan Datuk MP Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Aside from his senior position in Umno, Mustapha (below) said Tengku Razaleigh is currently the chairperson of the Umno advisory council.
Previously, Umno and PAS had agreed in principle to continue supporting Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin as their prime ministerial candidate for the 15th general election.
Secretary to the Muafakat Nasional secretariat Annuar Musa said this decision was discussed and agreed upon in a recent meeting.
As such, he said, Muhyiddin currently receives the support of Umno and PAS, the two biggest Malay-Muslim parties in the country.
“For the next general election, both parties have agreed in principle to name or support prime minister Muhyiddin as the next prime ministerial candidate,” Annuar (below) said.
However, Annuar’s statement had not been welcomed among several Umno leaders, including veteran leaders Shahrir Samad and Khaled Nordin.
Umno supreme council member Mohd Puad Zarkashi had also expressed his dissatisfaction with the decision to nominate Muhyiddin as the prime ministerial candidate for GE15.
He had said Umno should not have to “pawn” the prime minister position to Bersatu.
Notably, most of the internal objections to this development have come from the southern part of Peninsular Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Mustapha said the statement made by Umno and PAS leaders in supporting Muhyiddin as the next prime minister has given the impression that both parties are lacking in candidates.
“That statement gives the impression as if both parties do not have any individuals who are qualified to be nominated as prime minister.
“If there is no one else qualified, then nominate Ku Li as in terms of experience, he is qualified and he has held important positions and has been a senior minister in the government before,” he said.