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PM’s early exit not my fault – KJ October 10, 2008

Posted by nikmj in National, news, Politics.
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Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin has denied that he is to blame for the early exit of his father-in-law Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as Prime Minister.

He said since the beginning of Abdullah’s premiership, the party leadership had been a “victim of constant and concerted demonisation.” This demonisation took on a very personal tone. It was directed at a few individuals.

“A lot of it was negative perception building. I think it was a deliberate strategy to undermine the leadership,” he said yesterday when met by reporters at the launch of the Institute for Advance Islamic Studies.

Over the years, there have been criticism and scathing attacks against Khairy by a number of people, including former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

They alleged that the Prime Minister was allowing his 32-year-old son-in-law to interfere in the running of the Government, which both Abdullah and Khairy have denied.

Khairy said Abdullah’s decision to leave office in March should be recognised as a sacrifice for party unity.

He added that a change in Umno and the country’s leadership would not reclaim lost support if there was no commitment to the reforms the Prime Minister had started.

“The reason we did not do well in the last election was not because of the leadership but because we did not fulfil the promises of 2004,” he said.

Khairy said Umno should not be under any misplaced illusion that it was a leadership issue.

Khairy, who is aspiring for the Youth chief post in the March party elections, said he hoped his father-in-law’s leaving office would not affect his chances in the contest.

In Alor Star, Jerlun MP Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir called on candidates vying for positions in Barisan Nasional component parties to stop bashing Umno.

“Umno candidates have been careful not to harp on sensitive subjects that could damage the relationship between the component parties,” he said.

“Likewise, candidates from other component parties should do the same. They should not fan sentiments to gain popularity within their own party at the expense of other component parties,” he said.

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