KJ to Anwar: Does Umno under Zahid add value to unity government?

(NST) – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should ponder if Umno under Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s leadership will “add value” to the unity government.

That was the question posted by sacked Umno leader Khairy Jamaluddin to the prime minister hard on the heels of Umno’s mass culling exercise of the party dissenters on Friday.

“I believe that the prime minister requires a stable government, which necessitates him having a coalition partner’s post. In this case, who can add value to him?

“And the question that the prime minister has to ask himself is whether Umno under Zahid’s leadership is adding value to his government or otherwise,” the former Rembau member of parliament said on BFM radio’s Breakfast Grille programme this morning.

Khairy was asked to comment if the way Zahid is leading Umno poses a threat to the stability of the unity government under Anwar’s leadership.

Anwar is the president of PKR, the lynchpin of Pakatan Harapan (PH).

During the programme which lasted more than 30 minutes, Khairy was also fielded with several questions, including one on his next political move and if he would consider joining PKR.

“I think I will go and listen to everyone who wants to see me.

“Having that said, I have no shortage of lunch invitations this week. I don’t think I will be paying for lunch this week or the next,” he said in jest to the offers he received shortly after his expulsion from Umno.

Khairy, nevertheless, said he was in no rush to decide his next course of action and that he was open to whomever who wanted to meet him.

“Let me take my time, and I am very open to meeting anyone who wants to meet me,” said Khairy, who was with Umno for 23 years.

Khairy was also asked if he was considering joining a party that is not race-based.

“I was a member of a race-based party in a multi-racial coalition… that’s the Barisan Nasional (BN).

“There are layered dynamics in Umno and BN as there are in PH as well.

“Whether I join a party that is ostensibly multiracial or a party that is race-based that is part of a bigger coalition, that is something that I will have to decide,” he said.

Khairy, however, is unsure whether he will return to join Umno if the party decides to accept him back.

“I am not sure. I have given this question some thought over the last two days.

“The gradual decline of Umno… I fear it might have reached a point of no return.

“If I do contemplate returning to Umno, it would have to be a very different entity than it is today,” he said.

Khairy insisted the mass cleansing exercise of dissenters on Friday did not adhere to the Umno constitution and this affected the party’s brand equity.

“The party’s leadership has deteriorated tremendously. And I am not quite sure the party can resuscitate itself,” he said.