KUALA LUMPUR: United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin has thrown his hat into the ring for the party’s top post ahead of elections on Jun 30.
In an Instagram post on Sunday (Jun 17), the former Minister of Youth and Sports announced that he will contest party elections for the lead role in UMNO.
The Rembau Member of Parliament had previously stated that he was only contesting for the vice-president post.
Khairy announced his candidature several hours before the close of party election nominations.
It comes a day after veteran UMNO leader Razaleigh Hamzah announced his intention to contest.
In a Facebook post, Khairy said that the decision to run for the president post was not easy and that it was made after thinking about the future survival of UMNO.
“I took the decision to stand for UMNO president post because I want party members to have a choice on the future direction of the party,” he said.
He said that regardless of the outcome of the election, his loyalty to UMNO would not waver and that he would support whoever had been chosen to become the new party president.
Following Barisan Nasional’s shock defeat at the 14th General Elections, Khairy told Channel NewsAsia that the party had become “delusional”.
“… Nobody wanted to acknowledge we have a problem. That was a terrible mistake on our part,” he said.
SEVEN NOMINATIONS RECEIVED
Also in contention for the post of UMNO president is current acting president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who has been handling party responsibilities following former prime minister Najib Razak’s decision to step down on May 12.
Blogger Rahmat Azim Abdul Aziz has also expressed his intention to run for UMNO presidency and has submitted his nomination form.
Following the 5pm submission deadline on Sunday, UMNO executive secretary Ab Rauf Yusoh said seven nomination forms were received.
He said it was the highest number of candidates contesting for UMNO’s number one post in the party’s history.
Meanwhile, three nomination forms were received for the post of deputy president while nine nomination forms were submitted for the vice-presidents’ posts, said Ab Rauf, adding that 121 forms were received for posts in the Supreme Council.
Posts for the Wanita and Puteri chiefs drew four nominations each while the youth chief post received nine nominations.
Ab Rauf added that the final list of eligible candidates for all posts contested in the Jun 30 party elections will be announced on Monday by UMNO Secretary-General Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.
“The candidates will have to undergo a vetting process with the party and the Insolvency Department,” he added.