PETALING JAYA: Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah is the best man to lead the country as interim prime minister, Zaid Ibrahim said today.
The former law minister said this in response to reports that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, will be giving an audience to several political party leaders separately over the next two days to discuss the end of the emergency as well as the reopening of Parliament.
While there had been no mention of appointing an interim prime minister, Zaid proposed the former finance minister for the role, saying he had all the attributes.
“The most important attribute that this country’s leader needs right now is trust, and Ku Li has that,” Zaid told FMT, referring to the Gua Musang MP by his popular moniker.
“I think he would also have the support within Umno to carry him through. He has a long career (in politics) and I think he could be suitable as interim prime minister.”
Tengku Razaleigh, 83, a former Asian Development Bank chairman, is also the longest-serving MP in Malaysia and is widely regarded as an influential elder statesman who is respected by his peers.
Ku Li, who is also the chairman of the Umno advisory council, had repeatedly voiced his concerns about the party’s cooperation with Bersatu in the Perikatan Nasional-led government and asked party leaders holding posts like ministers, deputy ministers and chairmen of government-linked companies (GLCs) to resign from their posts immediately.
While PKR president Anwar Ibrahim and former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad have been mooted as candidates for the country’s top office, Zaid said Ku Li remains the safest bet.
“It would be contentious if Dr Mahathir were to be chosen. There would be questions as to why not Anwar? Why not Azmin (Ali)? Why not this person or that person?” Zaid said.
“I think having Ku Li as interim prime minister would put a stop to all this, and then we can prepare for the next general election (GE15).
“In the meantime, we must have someone we can trust.”
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