Khairy says would quit as minister if Umno orders it

Khairy Jamaluddin wearing a suit and tie: Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin speaks during a press conference at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur January 5, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa © Provided by Malay Mail Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin speaks during a press conference at…

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5 — Khairy Jamaluddin said he was prepared to resign from the federal Cabinet if his Umno party orders its lawmakers to withdraw from the government.

Earlier today, Umno issued a denial that party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has directed all his federal lawmakers to quit their government positions by next month, amid a worsening power struggle with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.

Khairy, who has been at the forefront of Malaysia’s efforts to secure Covid-19 vaccines for the country, said he must abide by his party’s decisions.

“I am told there will be a meeting tomorrow, (and) if the Supreme Council decides and instructs a withdrawal, I am bound to follow their decision,” he told reporters today during a press conference at the Parliament building.

Earlier today, Umno also removed the senior party leader Tan Sri Annuar Musa as the secretary-general of the Barisan Nasional coalition.

Annuar has increasingly been seen to favour Bersatu and the PN coalition over his own Umno.

Umno has also escalated calls for a premature general election to restore it to what it believed was its rightful position as the ruling party despite the raging Covid-19 pandemic here and globally.

When asked if Umno would “win big” by breaking away from PN, Khairy said this must be evaluated thoroughly before it could be established.

“That is something that we need to discuss and scrutinise further and in depth,” he said.

Clashes between Umno and Bersatu have continued despite their informal alliance to oust the Pakatan Harapan administration last February.

Seething at the perceived loss of their privileges under the PN administration, Umno grassroots have demanded the party leadership reassert its influence to take charge of government again by contesting all seats in the next general election.

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