PETALING JAYA: Former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, who had urged Umno to move on from Najib Razak, was criticised today for seeming to be in denial about changes that had taken place in the party.
Johor Umno veteran Shahrir Abdul Samad said it was Khairy, not Umno, who appeared to have been the one left behind by political developments.
“I wonder why Khairy thinks that Umno has not been able to move forward, or that Umno appears to be still in confusion after its defeat in the 14th general election (in 2018),” said Shahrir, who is head of Johor Bahru Umno.
Last week, Khairy had urged Umno to move on with its rejuvenation, after former president Najib Razak was convicted on seven charges of corruption, embezzlement and money laundering in the SRC International case. He hoped the party would not be dragged down by Najib’s conviction.
Shahir said he wondered why Khairy, who is MP for Rembau, seemed to believe that Umno is still trapped in denial and wanted to defend Najib.
It was Khairy who seemed to have been left behind and in denial about all the changes that have taken place after Pakatan Harapan took power.
Umno and Barisan Nasional had already moved ahead and many changes had taken place in Umno since Khairy lost the contest to be party president at the previous party elections, Shahrir said.
Among the changes were the formation of the Umno-PAS coalition in Muafakat Nasional, the resignation of Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the fall of Pakatan Harapan, leading to the new government led by Muhyiddin Yassin.
Without Umno’s strength and support, these two events would not have happened, leading to Khairy’s position as a minister in the new government.
Umno had moved ahead, and had overcome the dilemma that had confronted Khairy after the 2018 general election, said Shahrir.
Shahrir said court cases involving Umno leaders such as himself would carry on, without involving Umno. “I remain with Umno, supporting the party’s struggle, even though I am facing prosecution,” he said. “Court cases remain our own responsibility.”