KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — Aspiring prime minister Khairy Jamaluddin has set a timeline to achieve his goal; he is giving himself five to 10 years to reach the highest government post in Malaysia.
In an interview with radio station BFM aired today, the 46-year-old said he is ready to lead after having headed different ministries and proven his ability to make tough calls.
He also believes the time is ripe for a leadership change with the current crop in their 60s to 70s.
“I’ve played a role in steering the country out of the pandemic and that experience has led me to offer myself and put my name in the conversation at least not today but for the next five to 10 years to lead the country,” he said on the podcast interview.
Khairy said the rejuvenation of his party will start right after the 15th general election. Umno must hold an internal election after having postponed it since last year.
“I think we’ll see a changing of the guard at the top. Ismail, Hisham and myself, we are quite firm in where we want to take Umno to make sure that our image is restored from the past few years,” he said.
The Sungai Buloh hopeful was referring to Umno top leaders Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein who have styled themselves as progressives and have pushed for internal reform.
Khairy said he supports Ismail Sabri to return as prime minister if BN wins the national polls this Saturday.
He also said there is another generation in Umno who are ready to take on leadership roles, naming Shahril Hamdan and Khairul Azwan Harun as examples. Both men are also running for public office this GE15.
“All these new candidates who are coming through, I want to see them getting positions in their divisions. I want to see them replacing these entrenched leaders, older leaders to show that Umno is changing.
“This is not going to be a five to 10 year project, it’s going to happen right after the election,” he said.
Khairy has been a three-term MP for Rembau. He is running in Sungai Buloh for the first time after his party deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan sought to make his parliamentary debut in the Negri Sembilan seat.
Khairy sees his Selangor foray as a chance for Umno to win back the support of urban voters who had been backing the Pakatan Harapan component parties in the last two elections.