KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Veteran politician Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has announced he will run for the post of president of Umno, Malaysia's largest party.
The 81-year-old confirmed his candidacy at a press conference at his home in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday (June 16).
"I am making this decision in the interest of Umno. I want to make sure Umno can play its role as an opposition. As an Umno leader I will still look after our grassroots," said the Gua Musang Umno division chief.
Umno, which leads the former ruling pact Barisan Nasional, suffered a shock general election defeat on May 9. Former prime minister Najib Razak resigned from his posts as Umno president and BN chairman days after.
Tengku Razaleigh, commonly known by his abbreviated name Ku Li, had contested the Umno presidency in 1987, challenging and losing narrowly to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. The former finance minister then left Umno to form rival party Semangat 46, which was disbanded in 1996.
This time round he will be going up against former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in the June 30 party polls.
Datuk Seri Zahid is acting Umno president following the resignation of Datuk Seri Najib.