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Q&A: Ku Li's mixed signals on Umno presidency

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In this second of a three-part interview, Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah talks about his political future as well as that of Anwar Ibrahim.

Malaysiakini: Ex-deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim is now back in the country to devote himself fully as the Parti Keadilan Rakyat advisor. Do you think he can make an impact?

Razaleigh: I don't write off any politician. The only politicians that have retired from politics are dead ones [laughs]. Since he (Anwar) was removed from the party, (you may think he has) no more future. I don't think so. It depends on what happened in the society, if the situation demands his participation, he will rise again. You can't say a politician has no more future.

Of course, Anwar has no place in the political arena today. I am told that PAS is a bit disenchanted with him and he has no place in mainstream politics. He came to see me, and I advised him if you want to get back to mainstream politics, or want to be prime minister, you should go back to Umno. How? He has to work it out. I am not to advise him. If he wants to plays opposition politics, then he should become PAS president and change PAS.

PAS shouldn't be what it is today. PAS cannot excite the new generation. Unless PAS changes its face and ways, it won't capture the imagination of young people. And the non-Muslims won't respond to it if it goes on this kind of conservative attitude. So I said: 'You go into PAS and become president and change PAS.' Like this man (Prime Minister Tayyip Edrogan) in Turkey, (his party) was an old Islamic party led by people in jubah (robes) and he changed it into a progressive Islamic party. Everybody voted for it.

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