Ku Li: I was never on Team Dr M


(MMO) – Umno veteran Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has denied ever aligning himself with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, saying all he did recently was support the former prime minister on certain issues.

The Kelantan prince admitted to recently agreeing with Dr Mahathir’s disapproval of Putrajaya’s use of a security law on an ex-Umno leader and his lawyer, but said this did not automatically put him in the senior politician’s band of critics of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“No, when have I ever been with Mahathir. I attended it with the knowledge that I would be protesting the detention of Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan and Matthias Chang.

“It so happens that Chang was my lawyer previously,” he told an interview with Malay daily Utusan that was published today.

Tengku Razaleigh, better known as Ku Li, was referring to an October 12 press conference where he, along with Dr Mahathir, former deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Tan Sri Sanusi Junid, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and former MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat expressed their objection to the charges under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 against Umno’s Khairuddin and his lawyer Chang after they lodged reports over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) controversy.

“I attended and I made a statement at that press conference. But they immediately labelled me as being with Mahathir,” Ku Li told Utusan Malaysia.

Ku Li was Dr Mahathir’s rival when he tried in 1987 to take over the latter’s Umno presidency through an election, which he eventually lost.

The Kelantan lawmaker then sued Umno, which resulted in the party’s being declared illegal.

Dr Mahathir recently quit Umno and is currently leading the Save Malaysia movement that seeks to oust Najib.

He recently accused Tengku Razaleigh of betrayal after the Kelantan prince signed the Kelantan Declaration and also alleged that the latter had played a pivotal role but failed to get sufficient support for a no-confidence vote against Najib.

Tengku Razaleigh, however, insisted later that he has never swerved from his calls for institutional reforms.

The Umno veteran also said he would not sign the Citizens’ Declaration that calls for Najib’s removal, as he was “not part of it”.