'Taking time to listen to offers, not appealing to Umno after sack', says KJ

30 Jan 2023 12:54pm
Former Umno youth chief Khairy Jamaludin
Former Umno youth chief Khairy Jamaludin

SHAH ALAM - Former Umno youth chief Khairy Jamaludin said he will not appeal his sacking from his party of 23 years.

Khairy, the former health minister, said he has discussed the matter with Tan Sri Noh Omar and Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan who were also part of Umno purge.

“No, I won’t be appealing. I discussed the matter with Noh and Shahril. What’s the point of appealing? They are intent on throwing us out or keeping us in the sin bin”, he said in an interview with BFM radio this morning.

Khairy and Noh among eleven members were sacked from the party for several offences, including contesting as independent candidates and helping opposition candidates in the polls.

In the first interview since his sacking on Friday, Khairy criticised Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and his deputy, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, claiming they had taken a "unilateral" decision to quiet the party's dissidents.

He was further quoted in Malay Mail that in contrast to the delegates' intentions expressed earlier this month during the 2022 Umno general assembly, Umno members from 191 divisions and more than 1,500 branches around the nation would favour an open election to resurrect the party.

Khairy said it is only logical to have the top two post contested after a disastrous electoral performance, stating Umno requires a complete overhaul, starting with its leadership.

“It is only logical to have a contest,” he was further quoted.

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However, Khairy also said he did not have personal problems with Zahid, saying he still considers the latter as a “friend”.

“I just want to have a free contest against him as he presided over the most disastrous election in Umno history.

“When Pak Lah (Tun Abdullah Badawi) lost a two-thirds majority in 2008, he was asked to step down. When Datuk Seri Najib Razak lost the election in 2018, he was asked to step down. It is only fair for Zahid to have a free contest after the election,” he said.

Asked on his future plans, he said he will take his time to listen to offers.

“I think I will go and listen to everyone who wants to see me. I have a lot of lunch invitations.

“I don’t think I will pay for my lunch this week or next,” he said, laughing.

Although, he declined to go into further detail, Khairy said he may also start his own party or run in the coming state election.

Khairy, the former Rembau MP further said he would not be eager to rejoin Umno any time soon.

“The gradual decline of Umno I fear has passed the point of no return. If I decide to return it has to be a different entity,” he said, referring to current Umno leadership.