Khairy brushes off Mahathir's 'sarcasm'

KUALA LUMPUR • Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin has dismissed Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's endorsement of him as the best candidate for the party presidency, describing it as a backhanded compliment.

Tun Dr Mahathir, the chairman of the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, said on Sunday that Mr Khairy was eligible for the post because Umno is now seen as a party in disarray following its huge loss at the May 9 general election.

"Tun Mahathir, he is always sarcastic, so I think maybe he is poking fun at me," Mr Khairy told reporters at Umno headquarters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. "I think he is being sarcastic," he said.

Umno's internal party election, expected to be held next year, will see all the top posts open for contest, after this was agreed upon by the party's supreme council on May 22.

Nominations for the Umno elections are open until June 17.

Mr Khairy had previously said he would contest the vice-presidency post, ending speculation that he was gunning for the Umno presidency or deputy presidency.

BERNAMA, THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 05, 2018, with the headline 'Khairy brushes off Mahathir's 'sarcasm''. Print Edition | Subscribe