Umno veteran Razaleigh says open to working with former rival Mahathir to fight for shared cause

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said he is open to working with former political rival Dr Mahathir Mohamad in fighting for a shared cause.

"There is no problem in working with Tun Mahathir or whoever else," Tengku Razaleigh, widely known as Ku Li, told reporters at Parliament on Wednesday.

He also dismissed the widely touted rift between him and the former prime minister.

"I do not have a problem with Tun Mahathir. It is difficult to just have a small chat about it without understanding the background of the matter," he said.

"I have been friends with Tun Mahathir for decades. I did not just sit in Parliament today. I have been here 10 terms," he said.

However, Razaleigh stressed that the issues on working together with Dr Mahathir and the succession of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak are two separate matters.

"When it comes to the question of the Prime Minister's post, that is a different matter and cannot be merged," he said in response to former de facto law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim's suggestion that Razaleigh take up the country's top spot.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Zaid nominated the Gua Musang MP as a candidate to take over the prime minister's post. He also called for Dr Mahathir to put aside old differences and support Razaleigh.

"That's why, if he truly wants to see some improvements in curbing the systemic corruption, Tun should endorse Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah as the one to take over as Prime Minister after Najib.

"Tengku is from the old school. He values integrity and honesty. A person like him is therefore needed to start the reformation in the country," Zaid wrote in his blog.