Khairy says won’t appeal sacking from Umno, will listen to offers before deciding what's next

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30 — Former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar said he will not be appealing his sacking from the party.

He said there is no point in appealing as the decision makers in Umno are the ones who expelled him from his party of 23 years.

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.

“No, I won’t be appealing. I discussed the matter with Noh and Shahril. And 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 were sacked last Friday, following an Umno supreme council meeting along with 26 members from the party’s Pahang branch, nine from Putrajaya, five from Pasir Gudang and two from Tanjong Karang.

They were sacked for several offences, including contesting as independent candidates and helping opposition candidates in the polls.

Khairy, in the first public interview after the sacking on Friday, continued to criticise both president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and his deputy Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan saying they have made a “unilateral” decision to silence the voices of dissent of the party.

He added that Umno members from 191 divisions and more than 1,500 branches across the country would want an open contest to revive the party, contrary to the delegates’ wishes during the 2022 Umno eneral assembly earlier this month.

The former Rembau MP, who lost in Sungai Buloh parliamentary seat last election was vocal in criticising Zahid during the 15th general election. Khairy also accused the top leaders of using “imported delegates” during the general assembly to pass the motion disallowing contest for Zahid and Mohamad’s position in the upcoming Umno party polls.

“To have come back from the disastrous electoral performance, Umno require a complete overhaul, starting with its leadership, and that would have necessitated the top two positions being contested during the party election.

“It is only logical to have a contest,” he said.

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.

In the interview, which lasted about 45 minutes, Khairy was asked about his future as he was openly offered a place in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition as well as the possibility of joining PKR which has both his friends, Nurul Izzah Anwar and Rafizi Ramli.

He said he had received offers from political, academics as well as corporate fronts but will take time to listen to the offers before making any moves.

“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.

Khairy said there is also a possibility of him creating his own party or may take part in the upcoming state election, though he declined to elaborate on the matter.

However, the former minister who had held three portfolios in his career said he won’t be willing to return to Umno anytime 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.

On Friday, Rafizi said PKR will continue to monitor any development on Khairy’s future in politics following his expulsion from Umno and review the situation when necessary.

Meanwhile, The Tunku Mahkota of Johor (TMJ), Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, has hinted at the possibility of offering the posts of JDT FC chief executive officer and Johor Youth Advisor to Khairy.