Mukhriz going for veep post

(The Star) – Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Paduka Mukhriz Mahathir will contest for the Umno vice-president’s post, making it the most closely watched race in the party polls.

Described as a “game changer”, Mukhriz, 48, will join a tight, six-cornered fight with incumbents Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

In a press conference yesterday, Mukhriz said his decision, which was made following unanimous support from state Umno leaders, was to bring new hope to Umno members and supporters who wanted to see changes in the party.

“I may look 34 but I am almost 50. So, I think it will not be accurate to say that I’m too young or should wait another term.

“What I’m offering is a sense of hope for members that Umno is truly changing and that it’s making itself relevant to the young,” he told reporters after announcing his candidacy and a list of Kedah candidates contesting for various posts in the polls here yesterday.

PKR, said Mukhriz, was already making changes by allowing young leaders to be actively involved in deciding the party’s direction.

Mukhriz said these leaders, trained since their youth, would be the ones whom Umno would face in the next general election.

However, he admitted that he did not know how he would fare under the party’s new electoral system.

The other candidates in the race for vice-president’s posts are former Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam and Felda chairman Tan Sri Isa Samad.