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Monday August 21, 2006

Khairy: Weak Umno bad for Barisan


KLUANG: Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin said Umno was the pillar of the Barisan Nasional coalition and needs to remain strong to enable all component parties to grow together.  

A weak Umno would lead to various parties making demands and this could affect unity in the Barisan, he said after opening the Kluang Umno Youth division meeting here yesterday. 

“My message is that if we (Barisan components) all want to grow, we need a strong Umno,” said Khairy, denying reports that he had stated that other parties were not important. 

“Leaders from the other parties may have misinterpreted my statement,” he said, referring to a report in a Chinese daily that quoted several leaders criticising him for allegedly saying that non-Malays would take advantage of a weak Umno to make demands. 

Citing issues raised by the Chinese election watch group Su Qiu in the 1999 elections, Khairy said: “Umno was weak at that time and people took advantage of that.” 

He said he would meet MCA Youth deputy chief Datuk Ling Hee Leong to clarify the matter. 

Addressing the delegates, Khairy said Umno determines the course of the country’s future, as its president is the country’s Prime Minister and its state liaison chiefs in Umno-held states are all mentris besar. 

“If anything happens to PAS or (Parti) Keadilan (Rakyat), it will not affect the country. If anything happens to Umno, it can cause a major problem,” he said.  

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