FORMER health minister Khairy Jamaluddin who wants Malaysia to return to stability for the benefit of every Malaysian, has given assurance that even if the UMNO leadership may change, the unity government will not fall.
He also stressed that he was one of those who firmly rejected the “back door method” supposedly to initiate changes in the administration because he wanted Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to continue leading the unity government.
Interestingly, Khairy who lost in the contest for the Sungai Buloh parliamentary seat on an UMNO-Barisan Nasional (BN) during the 15th General Election (GE15) on Nov 19 last year did not specify if he harbours any intention to one day ‘unseat’ party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for the coveted post.
There is no party presidency contest during this weekend’s UMNO general assembly although the party’s constitution which was amended during its special general assembly on May 15 last year stipulates that party elections must be held no more than six months after a general election (meaning before May 19 this year).
However, Khairy who has kept mum if he would ever challenge Zahid for the top post did pull indirect punches on Zahid in the run-up to GE15 by vowing to “cleanse” UMNO and restore its graft-tarnished image if he is re-elected as an MP.
In the party election held in 2018, Khairy took on Zahid in the UMNO election alongside Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah but was eventually defeated after having polled 51 votes in contrast to Zahid’s 93 while Tengku Razaleigh only secured 23 votes.
“There is concern that if there is a change in UMNO leadership, this will bring about political instability that will lead to the fall of the present government – another Sheraton Move – and another government will be formed and a new Prime Minister (PM) will be sworn in,” Malay news portal Suara Merdeka quoted the former UMNO youth chief (March 2009 to June 2018) as saying.
Khairy was speaking at a forum organised by the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Singapore Institute which was also attended by the Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook.
“Loke, I want to state this clearly in front of everyone here: If my allies and I win the (UMNO) presidency, win the leadership of my party, we will give our support to the unity government – that’s to Anwar Ibrahim and to you,” he asserted.
Commenting on the upcoming UMNO election, Khairy reckoned that it is very important so as to bring changes to the sacred party.
Despite having lost in his maiden attempt to unseat Zahid who is now Deputy PM previously, he noted that he did not switch off his ambitions for the sake of a “fresher UMNO future”. – Jan 11, 2023