Khairy Jamaluddin, a party colleague, has publicly embraced UMNO President Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s offer to compete.
Zahid was reportedly greeted with tremendous ovation when he arrived in Kuala Lumpur today, January 12, for the UMNO annual general assembly, according to a video narrative posted on Khairy’s Instagram account.
Then Zahid moves to shake hands with Khairy, who is challenging him for the position of UMNO president, and declares that he is “ready to fight” him.
Khairy responded to Zahid by recording a tape in front of the president’s image at the party headquarters, describing him as “brave.”
In the video, Khairy continues by saying that Zahid’s acceptance of the challenge demonstrates his lack of fear.
“That means that if there is any effort to subdue democracy in UMNO by tabling a motion for the top two positions to not be contested, it is contrary to the bravery shown by our president,” says Khairy.
“I salute him.”
This is in response to rumours that the positions of UMNO president and vice president will not be available for election in the next party elections.
A number of UMNO leaders had already demanded that the top two positions not be available for election.
Not having the top two positions will harm UMNO’s democracy, according to Khairy.
“Stop this madness. I think the president (Ahmad Zahid Hamidi) is a fighter who does not fear taking on challengers (for the Umno presidency). Make room for contests. Don’t kill off democracy in UMNO,” he said.
The UMNO polls are expected to be held before 19 May this year.