Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah
|Yang Berhormat Mulia
Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah
|Member of Parliament
for P32 Gua Musang, Kelantan
5 May 2013
13 April 1937 |
Kota Bharu, Kelantan
|Political party||UMNO – BN (1962-1988; 1996–present)
|Spouse(s)||Cik Puan Nur Abdullah|
|Alma mater||Queen's University Belfast|
|Occupation||Member of Parliament|
Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh bin Tengku Mohd Hamzah (born 1937) is a major Malaysian political figure from the state of Kelantan, and a former Finance Minister. He is an uncle of the current Raja Perempuan (queen) of Kelantan. Tengku is a Malay hereditary title usually translated as prince. He is fondly known as Ku Li, derived from the last syllables of Tengku Razaleigh: this is a common kind of contraction in the dialect of Kelantan.
He was the Malaysian Finance Minister (1976–1984), the Trade and Industry Minister (1984–1987), the former chairman of the World Bank, former chairman of Asian Development Bank, former chairman of Islamic Development Bank and the founder and former chairman of Malaysian oil company, Petronas. He is now the longest-serving member of parliament in Malaysia followed by Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, current Sarawak Chief Minister.
Razaleigh is energetic, humorous and chatty. Both allies and opponents say he is generous and doesn’t hold grudges. He likes to cook. Nicknames include “The People’s Prince”, “Ku Kita” (Our Tengku). Tengku Razaleigh continues to be involved in politics until today and has been serving his constituency since 1969 without ever losing in a General Election, one of the few politicians who can boast of this privilege.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Involvement in Malaysia's Economic Development
- 3 1960s : The Early Years
- 4 1970s : The Rise
- 5 1980s
- 6 1990s
- 7 2000-Present
- 8 Media and public appearances
- 9 Election results
- 10 Notes and references
- 11 External links
- 12 See also
Early life and education
Razaleigh was born in Kota Bharu to Tengku Seri Maharaja Kelantan, Tengku Muhammad Hamzah Ibni Almarhum Raja Muda Long Zainal Abidin Ibni Sultan Muhammad III, who was the Menteri Besar of Kelantan. Razaleigh attended Sultan Ismail College before moving on to the Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK). However, he could not bear life in a boarding school, and transferred to Anderson School in Ipoh, Perak. He received a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Queen's University of Belfast in 1959 and later continued his studies at Lincoln's Inn. However, upon his father's death, he was forced to return, and never continued his studies.
Involvement in Malaysia's Economic Development
Starting from the mid-1960s, with the support of the then Prime Ministers Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Abdul Razak, several initiatives launched to increase and expand Malaysia's economic growth. Several of these initiatives were led by Razaleigh. These initiatives were major corporate takeovers of foreign congomelerates and major industries which was previously owned by foreign shareholders respectively.
Due to his excellent drive and contribution to the country’s economy, and his strong economics and finance background, he was entrusted to manage the country’s finance and was made the Finance Minister in 1976, Chairman of Asian Development Bank in 1976, Islamic Development Bank in 1978, IBRD (World Bank) and IMF in 1977.
New Straits Times Press
The New Straits Times Press (initially News Straits Times Press Sdn Bhd) was formed by the directors of the Directors of the Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Berhad, in order to acquire a majority shareholding in the company which produced the largest mass-circulation organ in the territories of East and West Malaysia.
The Malaysia operations of the Straits Times, the Sunday Times, the Malay Mail, the Sunday Mail, Berita Harian and Berita Minggu were transferred to this new company. An agreement was reached in 1972 between the directors of the Straits Times group and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah for the disposal of 80 per cent of the stock of the News Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. for the Malaysian interest.
PERNAS (Perbadanan Nasional Berhad or National Corporation) was set up in November 1969 as a wholly owned government company to carry out the resolutions at the Second Bumiputera Economic Congress. Among the major shareholders included were Malaysia's Ministry of Finance, Bank Negara Malaysia (The Central Bank of Malaysia) and Bank Bumiputera Malaysia Berhad. Pernas was put under a solid footing under the chairmanship of Razaleigh (1970–1974) who had been the Minister of Finance from 1976 to 1984.
With the background of poor and very low participation of Bumiputeras in the private sector and industries at that time, PERNAS' principle were to:
- to enter undertakings which would bring high economic returns,
- when enter into joint ventures, PERNAS was to be the majority stockholder with controlling interest over operations,
- Bumiputeras were to be employed at all levels of operations and undertakings.
8 subsidiaries were set up under PERNAS to achieve its objective. Malaysia National Insurance Berhad (MNI) was established in April 1970. There followed during 1971 Pernas Construction Sdn. Bhd., Pernas Engineering Sdn. Bhd., and Pernas Securities Sdn. Bhd. Then came Pernas Mining Sdn. Bhd (1973) and Pernas Edar Sdn Bhd (1974).
Razaleigh was in the thick of what became known as the Haw Par imbroglio of the mid-1970s, working with the Singapore-based Haw Par Brothers International Ltd, then an offshoot of the empire of British wheeler-dealer Jim Slater, to acquire control of London Tin Company, the British-controlled tin conglomerate, and the Sime Darby plantations conglomerate. This was to be achieved through a complex series of transactions by which PERNAS would end up as the largest shareholder of both. It failed when Singapore accused Haw Par of financial irregularities and later jailed a senior executive and the head, Donald Watson, fled to Ireland.
But it proved a short-lived setback for Razaleigh. Within two years, a share and proxy battle orchestrated by merchant bank Rothschild – which was also a part owner of Bumiputera Merchant Bankers – brought Sime Darby under Malaysian control and its headquarters shifted to Kuala Lumpur. Control of London Tin Company was acquired the same year. In another coup in 1979, Malaysian money made a “dawn raid” on British plantation giant, Kumpulan Guthrie Bhd, which wrenched the company from British control; most of the other British owned plantations soon followed.
Among the major corporate takeover exercise and formation of new businesses during Razaleigh's stewardship as Pernas Chairman were
- Insurance - Malaysia National Insurance Bhd,
- Banking - Maybank Bhd,
- Mining - the then world largest tin mining company, London Tin Company which later were renamed into Malaysian Mining Corporation. It is known as MM Corporation Berhad.
- Palm Oil and Rubber Producer - Sime Darby, Guthrie Berhad, Highlands and Lowlands Berhad.
Malaysia's First Trade Delegation to China
In 1971, Razaleigh's led trade delegation went to China to initiate a prospect of initiating a business relationship. During the visit to China, Razaleigh managed to meet the then China's Premier Zhou En Lai. Total trade with China stood at a mere RM105.6 million in 1971, but ballooned to RM1.6 billion in 1980. Since then the contact between the two countries has been on the increase as evidenced by the number of visits of trade, medical and sports delegations to China.
On 6 September 1974, Malaysia's then prime minister, Tun Abdul Razak, announced the appointment of Razaleigh as Chairman and Chief Executive of Petronas (Petroleum Nasional Berhad). Tun Razak said: "From among the new blood, I intended to bring Tengku Razaleigh into the Cabinet. However, I have an important job for him, a job as important as that of a Cabinet Minister. I have decided to appoint him as Chairman and Chief Executive of Petronas, which is equivalent to being a Cabinet Minister.". Subsequently, Razaleigh had to relinquish his job as Chairman of PERNAS which he held from 1970, but retained the chairmanship of Bank Bumiputra.
Setting Up Banking Firms and Other Institutions
He also set up “Bank Pembangunan Malaysia” and founded and established both Bank Islam and Syarikat Takaful, an insurance company run in accordance with Syariah principle.
Institute of Marketing Malaysia (IMM) was founded by Razaleigh in 1977 and he became the Institute’s first Patron.
Malaysian & Asean Chamber of Commerce
Razaleigh was President of Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, President of Malaysian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and consequently the President of ASEAN Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He played a major role in the strategic restructuring of the Malaysian economy. The Malaysian Chamber of Commerce acknowledged his expertise in the petroleum business and once called him the “Malaysian Oil Prince”. In the 1975 Malaysian Chamber of Commerce resolution, Razaleigh was named “Father of Malaysian Economic Development”.
1960s : The Early Years
As the former president of the Malayan Students Union in London and secretary of the Malay Society in Britain, Razaleigh has entered into politics in 23 April 1962. He was unanimously elected as chairman of the Ulu Kelantan Division of UMNO at its annual meeting. He had returned to Malaya earlier that year to attend the funeral of his father.
Tengku Razaleigh was part of the Malaya's delegation to the United Nation for 17th Session of the U.N. General Assembly in 1962. The leader of the delegation was Dato' Dr. Ismail bin Dato' Abdul Rahman, the then-Minister of Internal Security. 
1970s : The Rise
In 1971, he was elected to the UMNO Supreme Council. Later he was appointed as the Treasurer of UMNO by the then-President of UMNO Tun Abdul Razak in 1973. He served as one of the Vice-Presidents of UMNO after winning the party election in 1975.
After Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak's sudden death in 1976, he was appointed as Finance Minister by the new Prime Minister, Hussein Onn. Razaleigh's planning is reputed to have been the main reason the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, of which UMNO is a member, almost totally defeated the opposition Islamic party of PAS in the 1978 general election and the Kelantan state elections of the same year.
When Mahathir bin Mohamad succeeded Hussein Onn as Prime Minister, he declared the election for the Deputy Presidency of UMNO — and thus by extension the Deputy Prime Ministership — was open; he would not support any candidate. Razaleigh joined the fray, and his main opposition was Musa Hitam. Eventually, Musa won the election with 722 votes to Razaleigh's 517 votes, becoming the new Deputy President and Deputy Prime Minister. Razaleigh blamed himself for taking "a rather passive stance" and not having a campaign strategy.
In 1987, Tengku Razaleigh challenged Mahathir. In the election, Dr. Mahathir managed to retain his position. However, UMNO was split into two separate entities as Tengku Razaleigh was left unsatisfied with the result.
The split forced the Malaysian court to declare UMNO as illegal. Shortly after the court ruling, Dr. Mahathir reestablished UMNO as UMNO Baru (New UMNO), though the new UMNO was badly weakened. Tengku Razaleigh at the same time went on his own path and found a new political party called Semangat 46 in 1989. The number 46 refers to the year UMNO was originally founded.
Seven years later, Tengku Razaleigh disbanded Semangat 46 and rejoined UMNO.
In 2004, he announced his interest for the UMNO top post yet again but failed to garner enough nominations to contest the presidency.
Media and public appearances
Tengku Razaleigh is one of many Malaysian politicians, celebrities, and other well-known personalities who appear in Pete Teo and Namewee's public service announcement voter education video "Undilah" released in 2011. Razaleigh provides a spoken word introduction to the rap song.
In conjuction of the 50th anniversary of the formation of Malaysia, Pete Teo released a video "Hari Malaysia featuring many public figures and well-known personalities. Tengku Razaleigh was seen sitting next to Lim Kit Siang, another Malaysia's prominent political figure in Merdeka Stadium.
|2013||Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (BN)||21,367||62.2%||Wan Abd Rahim Wan Abdullah (PAS)||12,954||37.8%|
Notes and references
- Ku Li now longest-serving MP The Star
- Tan, Chee Khoon & Vasil, Raj (ed., 1984). Without Fear or Favour, p. 45. Eastern Universities Press. ISBN 967-908-051-X.
- The Straits Times 17 September 1972 page 1, National Library, Singapore
- The Developing Economies, Malaysia's Localization Policy and its impact of British owned Enterprises, Page 372, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan
- The Developing Economies, Malaysia's Localization Policy and its impact of British owned Enterprises, Page 374, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan
- The Straits Times 2 January 1976 page 5, National Library, Singapore
- A Onetime Political Star Returns to Malaysia's Stage, 24 March 2008, http://www.asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1113&Itemid=31
- The Political Economy of Malaysia's Trade Relation with China, John Wong, Page 9, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
- The Straits Times 7 September 1974 page 8, National Library, Singapore
- The Straits Times 24 April 1962 page 11, National Library, Singapore
- The Straits Times, 10 September 1962, Page 5, National Library, Singapore
- Tan & Vasil, p. 42.
- Tan & Vasil, p. 204.
- Tan & Vasil, p. 112.
- "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri". Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 23 May 2010. Percentage figures based on total turnout.
- Kamarudin, Raja Petra (November 9, 2005). "The Anwar Factor". Malaysia Today.
- Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah's Official Site updated with speeches, news, press releases.
- Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah's Official Facebook Page updated with public addresses and events
- Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah's Youtube Channel video archives of speeches, dialogues, Q&A sessions. Also included videos of Malaysia's past prime ministers (Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Hussein Onn's interviews)