KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 — Barisan Nasional candidate for Kuala Selangor Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the coalition’s representation of multiracial Malaysia resonated with his belief in multiracialism to join Umno as a member back in 1997.
In a televised interview with Astro Awani, Tengku Zafrul said he has never stopped being a member since, though admitting that he gradually stopped being actively involved in party activities after his career took off as an investment bank chief executive.
Tengku Zafrul served as CIMB Group chief executive for six years before resigning from his post after being appointed the country’s finance minister in 2020.
“Why Umno, well my family has always been Umno so there’s some biasness there I suppose.
“Again I look at the track record of Umno and I see they can deliver but to me from my background, I believe in a multiracial country and we need a party that represents all.
“So BN is that platform because BN has MCA and MIC and if you look at the focus of BN, is to help all and not just represent just one group,” he told show host Melissa Idris.
When asked if the Umno he had joined back then was the same as he recognises and is contesting as an election candidate in the present, Tengku Zafrul said he believed it is still the same albeit differing in views on how to move the party forward.
“But the spirit is still there. I think the spirit is to assist the people, to develop the country, perhaps in any company and parties there are always differing views on how to achieve that,” he added.
On being labelled as being out of touch with the common people due to his background, Tengku Zafrul said he was not fazed by such labels as one’s intention rather than background is more important.
He said one way of helping people is to be an elected representative.
“I could easily go back to my own corporate world but to me I feel the last two and a half years have been a fulfilling one and I wouldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t put my head into the ring and give it a try to contribute to the nation, that’s my thinking.
“There’s really no downside for me if I am not elected and I can always help still, I can go back to the corporate sector but I would have a different view then,” he said.
Polling for GE15 is on November 19, while early voting is on November 15.