KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin denied rumours that he has left the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), saying that he will always be a member of the party.
Referring to a YouTube video titled “KJ leaves UMNO!! Verified, Khairy Jamaluddin’s final decision”, Mr Khairy said in an Instagram Story that many people have contacted him to ask if it is true.
"I don't like to entertain this kind of news but many messaged me about it. I'm still in UMNO,” he said in the post on Monday (Sep 19).
The Rembau MP said he has remained in UMNO all this while even though he was not appointed to the Cabinet and was ostracised in the party despite winning the post of party youth chief.
He added that he remained in the party despite its loss in the last general election and was facing political persecution. He also did not quit when he lost the UMNO presidential race in 2018.
“I lost the presidency race and was looked down upon, but I still remained in UMNO.
“Even though (I) have to look for a new constituency, (I am) still with UMNO. Don't worry. Then, now and forever,” said Mr Khairy, who has been Rembau MP since 2008.
Earlier this month, Malaysian media reported that Barisan Nasional deputy chairman and UMNO deputy president Mohamad Hasan might take over Mr Khairy’s parliamentary seat in the imminent general election.
"The worst-case scenario is that I don't contest; it's fine. It's okay, I'm alright," Mr Khairy was quoted as saying by the Star on Sep 4.
“He (Mr Mohamad) passed the message to me that I must get out of the way … Anyway, you know, what can I do? He's the boss … If he wants to contest the parliament seat, I will give way," he added.
In response, Mr Mohamad said he had yet to make a decision on which parliamentary seat he would be contesting in.
“I never said I want to contest anywhere. I just said it's time for me to contest a parliamentary seat.
“Which seat is up to me. I am the deputy president, I can place myself anywhere I want. I didn't say I want to contest in Rembau, (what) people (are) saying that is up to them, it is not my concern,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama on Sep 10.
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said on Sep 17 that the 15th general election (GE15) is not too far away and that UMNO's top five leaders would meet soon to set the date.
"We are very close to the election. I will set the date with the president. Trust me, just wait a little while longer. I hear your calls clearly," Mr Ismail Sabri was quoted as saying by the Star.
"What's important is that when parliament is dissolved and GE15 is held, we must win," he said at a Barisan Nasional event in Kuala Lumpur.