Andrew Ong Sep 27, 08 2:52pm
Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has called on Umno members to reject the postponement of party elections to March next year, purportedly to facilitate a smooth transition of power, as it is not provided for in the party constitution.
“This is extra-constitutional. If there is a transition of power, according to the party constitution, it must be done every three years at all levels,” he said.
He said that the plan for Prime Minister and Umno president Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to hand over reign to his deputy Najib Abdul Razak was akin to “passing property” from one to another.
He told a press conference at his Kuala Lumpur residence this afternoon that the new Umno plan unveiled by the party's supreme council yesterday was not acceptable because office bearers should be decided by party members according to party rules.
“If Umno members still believe in the struggle and if they still love the party, to which I have no reasons to doubt, I’m sure they will reject the plan.
“This is not a sandiwara nor a game; First it was on, then off; December, then March, then June. Decide! It is not a small thing. The whole country is waiting to see what happens to the leadership of Umno and the country,” he said.
Tengku Razaleigh stressed several times during the 50-minute press conference that the transition plan was undemocratic and had made Malaysia an international laughing stock.
He said that public anxiety was on the rise as a result of the confusion being caused by the transition plan.
“Even I am getting a bit confused,” he said.
Still gunning for No 1
To a question, Tengku Razaleigh said he is still seeking nominations to contest as party president, regardless whether Abdullah would be defending his post or not.
“I’m praying that I will obtain 140 nominations (to win by default),” he said in jest.
Abdullah is currently under pressure to quit before the party polls and is said to be able to obtain the mandatory 58 nominations from 191 Umno divisions, which will start meeting on Oct 9.
Abdullah now has up to Oct 9 to decide on his fate.
Asked if he would ever reconsider offering himself as a candidate for the party elections, he replied, “I was the first to offer myself (for the post). I don’t normally make ‘flip-flop’ decisions”.
Tengku Razaleigh said that he has not been campaigning because party rules forbid him from doing so, but he would reveal his plan to revive the economy soon, which he will implement if made prime minister.
He claimed that his plan would increase per capita gross domestic income from US$4,000 to US$10,000 in less than five years.
Tengku Razaleigh also brushed aside Kelantan Umno liaison chief Annuar Musa’s claim that the transition plan has the full backing of the state.
“I didn’t attend the meeting, nor did several other division leaders. How can it be unanimous?” said Tengku Razaleigh, who is also Gua Musang Umno division chief and the constituency’s MP.
He said it was likely that there were attempts by certain state leaders to pander to those in Kuala Lumpur and that the grassroots did not agree with the plan.
Malaysikini earlier report
Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has called on Umno members to reject the postponement of party elections to March next year as it is not provided for in the party constitution, Malaysiakini reports.
He told a press conference at his Kuala Lumpur residence this afternoon that the new Umno plan unveiled by the party's supreme council yesterday was not acceptable.
Today's press conferences by Razaleigh was a follow up of his press statement yesterday where he slammed Umno president Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy Najib Abdul Razak over the power transfer plan.
"I think I speak for the country when I say we are embarrassed at the sight of two grown men playing this endless children's game of 'yours and mine' with the most important responsibility in the land, oblivious of the law, oblivious to the damage they are doing to the nation.
"Instead of a national economic plan or any kind of reform all the Umno leadership has given us since March 8 is a transition plan designed to save two individuals from the inconvenience of facing elections.
"Their personal careers appear to be more important than the future of the nation," the Umno stalwart said yesterday.
(full report to follow) - Malaysiakini