Sep 18, 2008

Khairy goes for Umno Youth top post

(NST) Khairy, the Umno Youth deputy chief and member of parliament for Rembau said he took a longer time to decide to run for the post as he needed to study and collect feedback from the party grassroots.

"The decision (to contest) is not mine solely but was reached by all Umno Youth members in the branches and divisions who want me as well as support my quest to continue Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein's fight for the party."

Hishammuddin will not be defending the post which he has held for 10 years.

"I am lucky that I was able to work under Hishammuddin for eight years, four years as an exco and the remaining four as his deputy.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate Hishammuddin for his successful 10-year tenure," he said at the Rembau Umno Youth service centre here.

Khairy, who announced his decision to an audience including 40 Umno Youth division leaders and five Umno Youth state leaders, said his agenda for the Youth wing would be based on the motto "Setia Kawan" or "Friendship and Unity".

Also present was Umno Youth secretary Datuk Rahman Dahalan and treasurer Datuk Abdul Hamid Mohd Nazahar.

"We want to stress friendship and unity not only among the youth in Umno and BN but among all Malaysian youths as well.

"I am not contesting solely as an Umno Youth member but as a Malaysian as I carry with me a national agenda," he said.

Khairy, 32, is the fourth candidate to enter the race. The others are former Selangor menteri besar Datuk Seri Mohd Khir Toyo, Jerlun MP Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir and Padang Besar Umno Youth head Datuk Zahidi Zainal Abidin.

He described the other contenders as reputable, credible and possessing their own strengths.

"I have a lot of respect for the other contenders as they are my seniors, hence more experienced," he said, adding that the credibility of the other aspirants proved the Youth wing's high reputation.

When asked who would be contesting the deputy's post, he said no individuals had offered themselves.

"No one has come forward so far, so anyone interested can offer themselves. It is a democratic process and I leave it to the divisions and representatives to ensure an eligible leader is chosen for the post."

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