Former Malaysian political rivals Mahathir, Tengku Razaleigh to jointly meet media

The joint press conference will be held at Dr Mahathir's office in Kuala Lumpur. PHOTOS: REUTERS, ST FILE

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK0 - Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad and senior Umno MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah will be holding a joint press conference on Monday (Dec 14), adding to speculation that the seasoned politicians are finally joining forces after a long rivalry.

The news conference will be held at Dr Mahathir's office in Kuala Lumpur.

Tun Dr Mahathir's office sent out the invitation to the media following weeks of speculation that the two men have put aside their old rivalry to take on the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.

This is despite the fact that Tengku Razaleigh is a lawmaker of Umno and his party is part of the PN government, which is led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Tengku Razaleigh, or Ku Li as he is widely known, is chief adviser to Umno's board of advisers.

On Oct 29, Dr Mahathir and Tengku Razaleigh - who was finance minister from 1976-1984 - were reported to have met to discuss a "unity government".

At that time, Dr Mahathir, 95, brushed off talk of joining forces with 83-yea- old Tengku Razaleigh alone, saying that he had met other party leaders as well.

Since the formation of PN in February, the two senior politicians have repeatedly criticised the government of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

If Tengku Razaleigh moves away from Umno, this would not be the first time he does so. The first time was in 1988, when he formed a breakaway party called Semangat 46 after a falling out with Dr Mahathir, who was then premier and Umno president.

Semangat 46 later disbanded and its members rejoined Umno.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.