KUALA LUMPUR: Umno presidential candidate Khairy Jamaluddin has called on all Umno members to “make the right choice” on who should be the party’s next president.
Otherwise, they risk losing the people’s confidence in the party forever, he said at the Umno headquarters.
“I have already informed all supporters and party members that this party election is being greatly scrutinised by the people.
“Money politics and politics instilling fear will not be tolerated.
“Should they be caught doing so, action should be taken,” he said.
Khairy said Umno members must accept that the party had lost and if they were unable to change under these circumstances, the people might never trust the party again.
“We have a very small window of opportunity to prove to the people that we can return to prominence and it starts with this Umno election.
“If we make the wrong choice and behave how we did previously, I’m worried that this small window could be closed and I’m afraid it would be forever.
“Look at where it has got us,” he said, referring to the party’s failure in the 14th general election which led to the Pakatan Harapan forming the federal government.
Describing the upcoming contest for party president as unusual, Khairy said it was the first time an Umno Youth chief was contesting the top post.
In his campaign manifesto, Khairy said he would create two vice-president’s posts which would be reserved for a woman leader and a representative from Sabah should he be elected president.
“This is one of the reform ideas that I hope to implement if I am elected as president.
“I will also ensure there are no more resolutions to push through ‘no-contest’ motions for the president’s post and I will not allow any limitations on a person’s age for eligibility to contest the post of president.”
He said that he would ensure members were free to challenge the top posts every three years.
When asked if he would accept Umno presidential candidate Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s challenge to debate, along with Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who is also running for president, Khairy said he was open to the idea.
Commenting on his proposal to open Umno to other races, he said no idea should be taken off the table.
“The new Umno will be an idea-based party and no longer a personality-based party.”
Besides Tengku Razaleigh, Khairy and Zahid, the others contesting the president’s post are Rahmat Azim Abdul Aziz, Rosile Saat, Mohamed Iqbal Maricair and Mohd Yusof Musa @ Jamaluddin.