Puad dares KJ to form own party to see if he really is a 'youth magnet'

PETALING JAYA: It remains to be seen if Khairy Jamaluddin can be a "magnet" for youths if he forms his own party, says Datuk Dr Puad Zarkashi (pic).

The Umno supreme council member threw down the gauntlet to the former Youth chief following his recent sacking from the party and decision not to appeal.

ALSO READ: Speaking out a necessity in Umno, says Ismail Sabri

"What is wrong for KJ (a moniker used to describe Khairy) to form a new party?

"We will see if the youths flock to the KJ magnet," Puad said in a Facebook post on Monday (Feb 6).

He also said that if Khairy was not bold enough to set up a new party like Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, he could join Bersatu or PAS.

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Syed Saddiq, the former youth and sports minister, set up and registered the Malaysia United Democratic Alliance (Muda) in December 2020, a move seen as a way to appeal to young voters.

Puad's tirade against Khairy followed Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob's warning that the party would lose support from the youth.

Ismail Sabri said Khairy's sacking was tantamount to throwing away a "magnet" for youths.

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"Ismail Sabri made a mistake. He should have proposed to the supreme council that KJ replace him as poster boy for the 15th General Election," Puad jibed in his Facebook post.

On Jan 27, former Rembau MP Khairy and former Selangor Umno chief Tan Sri Noh Omar were among 30 others who were sacked from the party.

Noh had initially been suspended for six years but asked to be sacked instead during the party’s supreme council meeting.

Among those suspended for six years were former senior minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, former party information chief Shahril Hamdan, former Youth exco member Datuk Dr Fathul Bari Mat Jahya, former Johor state exco member Datuk Maulizan Bujang and former Jempol MP Datuk Seri Mohd Salim Mohd Shariff.

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Action was taken against these leaders because they were deemed to have criticised the party president and worked with opposition parties in GE15.

Khairy said he was “unbowed, unbent, unbroken" soon after learning of his sacking.

Despite an array of offers since then, the former health minister said he would keep his options open but was unsure of a timeframe for his comeback.

He also did not rule out contesting in the upcoming state elections after failing to win the Sungai Buloh parliamentary seat during GE15.

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