REMBAU, 17 Sept 2008: Member of Parliament for Rembau Khairy Jamaludin today offered himself to contest for the post of Umno Youth chief.
The deputy chief of the movement told reporters at the Rembau Community Service Centre that he had received feedback from the grassroots who wanted him to vie for the top seat in the movement.
"In short, after I went down and discussed heart-to-heart with the grassroots, I hope they will nominate me as the head of Umno Youth," he said.
He said that to take over the Umno Youth leadership would not be an easy task because the new chief should have the capability to continue what Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein had done as the head of the movement in bringing the members back together after the 1998 break-up.
Khairy said he was aware that his opponents – former Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo, Jerlun Member of Parliament Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir and Perlis Umno deputy liaison chairman Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin – were of good calibre and experienced candidates.
"They are more senior and older than me but actually, I see Umno Youth can make a good pick among these credible and experienced candidates and this will strengthen the movement," he said.
When asked what changes he would bring, Khairy said: "The question of changes has become a cliche in Umno Youth. Many are harping on it but to me it is an empty rhetoric if there are no plans."
If elected, he said, he would bring three main agenda based on the spirit of brotherliness or "Friendship and Unity".
First, he said, he wanted the connection between Umno Youth at the branch and division levels to be strengthened.
Secondly, he also wanted to forge a closer relationship with the youth wing of other Barisan Nasional (BN) components and thirdly, he wanted to spread the influence among youth groups so that Umno Youth was not seen as an exclusive body.
Khairy said he was confident of receiving support from within the movement and also those of other BN components. – Bernama