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Sunday September 22, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday September 22, 2013 MYT 11:38:42 AM
KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir is going down to the ground to explain why he is vying for the third highest post in the party.
Mukhriz said the younger generation want to see Umno’s transformation plan implemented effectively.
Mukhriz, the youngest contender for the vice-president post, said he had never chosen the easy path in his political career which spanned a decade.
At the closing of nomination yesterday, Mukhriz won uncontested as the Jerlun Umno division chief.
Mukhriz, who will turn 49 in November, was only allowed to be actively involved in politics after his father Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad stepped down as Prime Minister.
“I never had a smooth ride, with path left wide open. In fact the first time I contested the Kubang Pasu Youth chief post in 2004, I lost despite my father heading the division for 35 years prior to his retirement.
“I learnt a valuable lesson then that I can’t depend on my father’s influence,” he said.
Mukhriz also lost in the race for the Youth chief post in 2009 despite getting the highest number of nominations.
Asked why he decided to leapfrog and contest the third highest post without first trying for the supreme council post, Mukhriz said even other parties did not impose such bureaucratic barricades on aspiring younger contenders.
Mukhriz said the current situation warranted that he contest the vice presidency.
“During my father’s era, we rarely see a crowded race as many leaders were reluctant contestants.
“But the situation is different following the recent general election that saw erosion of (Barisan Nasional) power,” he said.
He said an injection of new blood into the party had now become crucial for the future survival of the party.
Mukhriz who puts his chance at 50:50 said he would campaign openly.
He also dismissed speculation that the three incumbent VPs were campaigning as a pact.
“If that really happens, it would be in conflict with what they had stated before.
“The political transformation plan opens the path wide to aspiring contenders,” he said.
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