‘All I wanted was change and a clean leadership slate’

PETALING JAYA: In 2018, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is said to have offered the party’s number two post to Khairy Jamaluddin.

But Khairy said he turned down Ahmad Zahid’s offer that was made before the 2018 Umno polls, because he believed that the party leadership needed to be changed.

“Before the last Umno polls, there was a discussion between Ahmad Zahid and myself, for me to become his deputy, which I turned down, because I felt there should be a change in Umno leadership,” said Khairy during a Concorde Club meeting yesterday.

Khairy also said his concerns on the present Umno leadership is nothing new.

“We should have a clean slate of leadership, to something fresh, in order to offer hope to not just party members, but also voters,” said the former health minister.

Khairy said he had consistently called for change since 2018.

“We didn’t really think that we were on the precipice of this great defeat. I have consistently called for change since 2018.

“But there was a great reluctance within Umno for change and unfortunately with the expulsion, I have to close a chapter,” he added.

Khairy, however, stressed that he remained loyal to Umno despite the sacking.

“I want to find my way home to Umno one day. But certainly not with the landlord now,” said Khairy, referring to Ahmad Zahid.

In 2018, Ahmad Zahid was elected as Umno president.

He edged out two contenders for the post during the election – Khairy and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

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