PETALING JAYA: Two former ministers have “welcomed” Sungai Besar Umno division chief Jamal Yunos’ offer to lead Umno Youth, saying it was time the wing was led by someone who understood the grassroots.
Former minister Sanusi Junid said he was not surprised by Jamal’s recent announcement expressing his interest for the post of Umno Youth leader.
The former Kedah menteri besar said Jamal leading Umno Youth would better reflect the party’s central leadership under Najib Razak.
“It starts from the top. If Najib can be president of Umno, it is not surprising that anyone else will harbour such an ambition.
“Jamal could be one of them,” said Sanusi, who quickly added that he was no longer interested in Umno’s affairs.
Former information minister Zainuddin Maidin said Jamal’s image as a “provocative” leader made him more in tune with the grassroots, unlike current Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.
“Umno needs the leadership of a ‘samseng’ (thug). A very brave and very provocative leader,” said Zainuddin, adding that Khairy “doesn’t know how to play grassroots politics”.
Earlier this month, Jamal offered to lead Umno Youth, saying his lack of an Oxford university degree did not make him less qualified for the post.
On Sunday, he played a video montage of his primary and secondary school days, receiving a standing ovation from Pandan Umno Youth delegates.
But the colourful politician who had in the past organised provocative protests against the opposition, said he was not “power hungry”.
“I will stand by my offer if Khairy decides to step down.
“However, if he decides to stay, I won’t contest against him as he is the best person for the job,” he said.