KUALA LUMPUR, Fri:
The Kelantan Umno has defended the decision of the delegates in electing former Umno Youth vice-head Khairy Jamaluddin to succceed Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein as the movement’s head in the party poll.
Bachok delegate Mohd Zain Yasim said Khairy, who is the Rembau Memmber of Parliament, was elected as Umno Youth head because the delegates could see his capability.
He said although many party members, including the grassroots, were against Khairy’s victory, he was convinced that the protest would end when Khairy could prove his capability in discharging the responsibility entrusted to him.
“As delegates, we know how to select the best leader for all of us. What we see is the strength that he has and his sincerity,” he said when debating the presidential policy speech at the Umno general assembly 2008, here today.
He said Khairy’s image was tainted because certain groups felt that he had secured party position because of his status as the son-in-law of the prime minister (Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi).
However, Mohd Zain was confident that the situation would change because his victory this time around was not ”assisted” by Abdullah who did not defend his president’s post in the party election.
He said Kelantan Umno was also confident that the new leadership line-up would be capable of rebuilding the party’s image which was tarnished in the general election on March 8 last year.
He suggested that the Umno leadership gave serious thought to the proposed merger of Umno and PAS as suggested by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang recently.
He said this was because the proposal was seen to be able to give positive impact on the ”survival” of the Malays in future.