KUALA LUMPUR, July 25 — Khairy Jamaluddin today admitted that there was some tension between him and Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahidi Hamidi following the Rembau MP’s decision not to join last week’s walkout.
“We are on good terms obviously, there was some tension as I stood against him, but after all that, he is like an older brother to me.
“He asked (me) are you speaking today? And I said yes,” he told reporters when asked what was said to him by the Opposition leader.
Last week, Opposition lawmakers from Umno and PAS staged a walkout from the House, following their dissatisfaction over the circumstances surrounding the appointment of Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof.
Khairy, Kimanis MP Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and Labuan MP Datuk Rozman Isli were the three Umno representatives who did not follow suit.
Meanwhile, Zahid had earlier told reporters that he had on two occasions approached Khairy for the positions of Umno secretary-general and information chief, both of which were turned down.
The Bagon Datoh MP had also offered the former Umno Youth chief the chance to contest the deputy presidency before the elections, but was similarly declined.
“I don’t want to talk about Umno elections anymore I turned down the positions because I do not want to be tied down by the party’s decision.
“I want to be an independent voice within Umno. I’m still with Umno but let me have the freedom to voice my opinions. It is good for Umno,” said Khairy, who appeared to be in a jovial mood after he delivered his motion of thanks for the Royal address in the Dewan Rakyat today.
When asked whether he would have a bigger voice if he had taken up the offer, the former minister said, “Really? You think so? It will then be the same thing all over again lah.”