We’ll back Anwar if my allies or I become Umno president, says KJ

By , in Nation Politics on .

Singapore/KL, Jan 10 — Khairy Jamaluddin says Umno will continue supporting the Anwar Ibrahim-led government if he or his allies become the party’s president.

At the Regional Outlook Forum 2023 organised by Singapore’s ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Khairy said he wanted Anwar’s government to last and remain stable, adding that he did not support “back room machinations” for a change in the administration.

The forum in Singapore was also attended by transport minister and DAP secretary-general Loke Siew Fook.

“There are concerns that if there’s a change in Umno’s leadership, it will bring about political instability that will lead to the collapse of the government, another Sheraton Move, and another government will come in and a new prime minister (will be) sworn in.”


“Loke, I want to say this clearly in front of all these people here: if I or my allies win the presidency, win the leadership of my party, we will commit our support to the unity government, to Anwar and to you,” he said, drawing applause from the crowd.

Khairy said Umno’s upcoming party elections were “everything”, adding that it would either be for Umno to be reformed, obtain relevance, “or it’s rest in peace”.

He said the party elections were Umno’s chance to chart a new course.

Umno’s Supreme Council has yet to decide on whether the posts of president and deputy president should be contested in the party elections. The party must hold its elections within six months after the conclusion of GE15.

Khairy reiterated that any change in Umno’s leadership should not result in political instability, otherwise it would be used as political fodder against the party.

“(There will be) no change in government, no change in prime minister (if my allies or I become Umno president),” he said.

“Maybe a change in a deputy prime minister,” he quipped, drawing laughter from the crowd. He is believed to be alluding to Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The former Umno Youth chief used to be a three-term Rembau MP, but contested for the Sungai Buloh seat, deemed a Pakatan Harapan stronghold, in the 15th general election (GE15).

The ex-health minister lost the seven-way contest for the seat, losing to PH’s R Ramanan, who is from PKR.

Khairy was among the Umno leaders who had called on Zahid to resign as Umno president following Barisan Nasional’s disastrous outing in GE15.

Khairy had vied for the Umno presidency in 2018 after BN fell from power, but was defeated by Zahid.


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