Khairy: I rejected Zahid’s offer to be his No. 2 in 2018

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 6 — Khairy Jamaluddin revealed today that he was offered the Umno deputy president’s post in 2018 but had turned it down because he wanted a change in the party’s leadership.

Speaking at a Concorde Club, a monthly forum on current topics initiated by veteran journalists, the sacked former Umno member said it was current president Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi who had offered him the post in 2018.

The former Rembau MP said he wanted a clean slate so the party can offer something fresh for voters, adding that they did not expect to lose badly at the 15th general elections.

“We should have a clean slate, to something fresh in order to offer hope not just to party members, but also voters. We didn’t really think that we were on the precipice of this great defeat (at GE15).

“But there was a great reluctance within Umno for change and unfortunately, with (my recent) expulsion, I have to close a chapter,” The Star reported him as saying today.

The former health minister reiterated his loyalty to the party despite his sacking on January 27 this year, adding that he would one day like to “find his way home” but not as long as the current leadership are in power.

“I want to find my way home to Umno one day. But certainly not with the present landlord,” he said.

After his sacking, Khairy said he would not appeal as the decision makers in Umno are the ones who expelled him in the first place.

Khairy said he had discussed the matter with former supreme council member Tan Sri Noh Omar and former Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan, who were also part of those purged from the party.

He alluded to considering contesting at the upcoming Selangor state polls, including gunning for the Selangor menteri besar’s post.