Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah remained coy about challenging Datuk Seri Najib Razak for the party's presidency, despite mounting speculation that he will do so at the party's polls next month.
Despite repeated questions, the Kelantan prince refused to commit, telling reporters to wait for nomination day on September 28.
"But maybe I won't be in the country, I don't know yet. I haven't decided, that's the bottom line," he said at a press conference at his residence today.
He said there are many factors for him to consider, such as eligibility, getting feedback from people and whether he can do his duties well.
Nominations for the various posts are on September 28 while the party elections are slated for October 19. The party general assembly is in early December.
Tengku Razaleigh, fondly known as Ku Li, was Umno vice-president between 1973 and 1981.
In 1987, he challenged Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for the Umno presidency and lost by 43 votes.
He offered himself for the presidency again in 2008 but did not receive enough nominations.
However, the new Umno election system no longer requires individuals to show they have support and any member can contest provided certain requirements are met.
Following reforms to voting arrangements, almost 150,000 members are set to vote for top office bearers.
Prior to the last party election and amendments to its constitution in 2009, only some 2,500 delegates had voting rights.
Last week, the nine-term Gua Musang MP said the time had come for him to hand over to a new leader the post of Gua Musang Umno division chief that he has held for almost 50 years.
He added that he had decided to forgo contesting in the next general election to enable a younger leader to take over.
The 13th general election last May was the last general election for him, he said, adding that he would continue to serve his constituents until a successor was found. - September 6, 2013.