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Friday, December 31, 2021

Khairy wants a harmonised relationship between Umno's factions

Rembau Umno deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin has called for the two factions in Umno - those aligned with party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and the other to Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob - to build a harmonised relationship and resolve their problems.

"Perhaps there is a bit of a problem between the leaders who are in the government and those not in the government, (but I hope) that can be resolved," Khairy said in a live-streamed TV interview programme titled "Covid Dilemma and Politics" last night.

"Sometimes we feel stuck because the party leadership is not reflected in the government where the party president is not the prime minister," said the health minister and Rembau MP.

Khairy added: "As the party general assembly is being postponed due to the floods and Omicron, I hope we can harmonise the party and government leadership because, in the end, all of us are from Umno.

"We want a harmonious relationship between the party and the government leadership, namely the Umno ministers in the government, in order to build a party widely accepted by the voters in the next general election.

"What we want is the same, we want the victory of Umno and BN in the next general election."

Concerns raised over tensions within Umno

As political analysts raised concerns over the tensions within the largest political party as different factions tussled for the leadership, Umno has never publicly admitted the party's internal fights.

Meanwhile, Khairy defended the Umno ministers, who were labelled as traitors to the party for supporting Perikatan Nasional (PN) when Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin's was in government, before Ismail Sabri took over.

Current Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob

"The party made a decision to support Ismail Sabri as the prime minister in the current government, which includes PN and Bersatu. So the Umno ministers must balance between the spirit and the desire of Umno not to be with Bersatu in the 15th general election.

"We must have a working relationship, a professional relationship between these parties for the sake of pandemic management and economic recovery.

"That is probably what I may conclude for Umno members who feel that the minister cluster is the traitor for staying with Bersatu. No, (we are not traitors), we are doing so according to party's decision," Khairy said.

The health minister also brushed off accusations that Putrajaya attempted to weaken Umno by implementing a stricter SOP during the Malacca state election by barring ceramah and house-to-house visits during the campaign.

"The people saw that the Malacca state election could trigger a new wave of infection because it reminded them of the Sabah polls, where compliance with SOPs was very loose and led to a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases.

"We wanted to prevent it from happening again, we had to tighten the SOP. Action was taken against whoever violated the SOP. They said this was neglecting the party, I don't think so," he said.

"I don't think this as weakening Umno. What I thought was only the public health, the safety of the candidates, voters and machinery.

"The government decision also reflected Umno ministers were able to perform their duties well," he said.

Khairy added that Umno's annual general assembly can be held if the country is not hit by a large Omicron wave.

"I want the Umno's assembly to be held successfully. I am waiting for a meeting with the party president to brief on SOP," he said. - Mkini

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