BN must win next by-election, says Ku Li

By Shannon Teoh, The Malaysian Insider

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah today warned that Barisan Nasional faces the prospect of losing the federal government if it is defeated in another by-election, calling for further reforms to meet people's expectations.

The Gua Musang MP said it was disgraceful for BN to lose all four by-elections in Peninsular Malaysia since the watershed general election last year.

"Not just a disgrace, but malu-lah (shameful)," Tengku Razaleigh told reporters at his house today.

The Kelantan prince might soon see if BN has recovered from its string of losses as speculation is rife that scandalised PKR Penanti and Bukit Lanjan assemblymen Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin and Elizabeth Wong will resign their seats.

"It makes me sad as an Umno chap that Umno has not won a single by-election so far.

"Before this, we place a candidate and sure as daylight we would win. Now we have to pray, work and throw money but we still did not win," he lamented.

He felt that the losses in the April 7 Bukit Selambau and Bukit Gantang polls were not necessarily a vote of no faith in newly-appointed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak but a future loss would reflect badly on his new administration.

"I do not think we can afford to lose anymore support. We have lost so much already," he added, referring to BN losing its two-thirds majority in Parliament and four more states in Election 2008.

Tengku Razaleigh said BN must marshal all its resources to get the support of the people in the next polls or "in three or four years, they will all be kicked out of office."

When asked if the increased majority for the opposition in the two Bukit by-elections showed that former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was ineffective in returning support to BN, he replied: "I think you have answered the question."

He pointed out that Najib's administration must be genuine in its efforts to reform as it cannot implement what it has in store for Malaysians without the backing of the people.

Tengku Razaleigh said that reforms were necessary as people were not happy.

"If not they will support you. If people are still blind or in denial, then they should hang up their political hats.”

Tengku Razeleigh added that as an Umno member, he was "desperate" but still "hopeful" despite the party appearing to be a "sinking ship."

As such, he denied that he had plans to join PKR as has been rumoured.

"I do not think that I am going to leave Umno for now. But one can never tell about the future," he said.

Tengku Razaleigh had called the press conference to deny that he had called the new Cabinet line-up "neat" as reported by state news agency Bernama.