KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10 — The space Umno has provided for Khairy Jamaluddin to express his desire to the prime minister showed the party was open and democratic, said Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
The Umno supreme council leader, who was coordinating Barisan Nasional’s election communications, pointed out that none in his party reacted negatively to Khairy’s declaration while on the campaign trail in Sungai Buloh.
He held this up as evidence of Umno’s depth and line of succession in Barisan Nasional, which was currently endorsing Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to return as the prime minister if it were to win the 15th general election.
“I’d like to ask the other parties: do they dare offer up anyone other than (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim)? I think not because that is the family’s post; before this it was the wife, now him, and maybe after this, his daughter. Nobody else,” he said in a press conference today.
He asked the same of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and PAS, before providing his expected answer of neither being able to put up an alternative to Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
While campaigning in Sungai Buloh this week, Khairy openly stated his ambition to be the prime minister, but qualified this by saying it was not yet his time.
Since then, several Umno leaders have come out to say Khairy was qualified to assume the role one day, including Ismail Sabri, while advising patience.
After BN lost the general election in 2018, the former Youth chief was one of three leaders who contested in the race to replace Datuk Seri Najib Razak as the Umno president, which Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi eventually won.