KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 — Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who is serving his 11th term as a federal lawmaker, hopes this is the last time he will be called upon to do so.
The Gua Musang representative told news portal Free Malaysia Today that after almost 50 years of service, he is too “old” and hopes he will be allowed to rest in the coming 15th general election as the decision on whether he will be fielded again is for his party’s top leaders to decide.
“I’m a bit old now. Actually, not ‘a bit’. I am old,” the 84-year-old was quoted saying.
“I’ve said this many times. The last two elections I had also said, ‘Count me out,’ but I think this time it’s for real. It depends on the party leadership.”
The politician popularly known as Ku Li said the concern was that if he relinquished Gua Musang, it might not be a sure win for Umno anymore.
“The problem I have is that, if I withdraw, the constituency may not be a safe constituency. That was the reason given to me before, that’s why I had to stand at the last two elections,” he was quoted as saying.
However, he added that no constituency can be seen as “safe” anymore.
“Actually, no constituency is safe, unless you have people with influence, a strategy that’s acceptable and workable, and you have steady ground support to bolster your votes in the general election.
“Without that, and with no unity, I think you can never say your constituency is safe,” he said in the interview.
Tengku Razaleigh was first elected MP for the seat back in 1974, when it was known as Ulu Kelantan, before the name change to Gua Musang in 1986.
Having been elected for 11 terms straight, this makes him the longest-serving federal lawmaker with an unbroken record in national history.