Mukhriz vying for Umno vice president post


ALOR STAR: Menteri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir today officially offered himself to contest for the Umno Vice President post, ending weeks of speculations on his position in the party.

The state Umno liaison committee chairman and Supreme Council member made the most anticipated announcement in a packed Dewan Seri Mentaloon at the Menteri Besar's official residence here.

Mukhriz will be joining two Umno veterans Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad and Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam in the race for the three Umno VP slots currently held by incumbents Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Mohd Shapie Afdal and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin.

The three Umno VPs had earlier announced that they were defending their post in the upcoming party polls.

The party members and political observers had been speculating on Mukhriz's next move since he was appointed as the 10th Kedah Menteri Besar after Barisan Nasional wrested the state from Pas during the 13th General Election in May.

During the announcement today, Mukhriz also confirmed that he is contesting for the Jerlun Umno division chief post.

The state Umno also introduced three candidates from Kedah who are running for the Supreme Council post.

They are Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohd Jamil Khir Baharom, Energy, Water and Green Technology deputy minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid and Baling member of Parliament Datuk Abdul Azeez Rahim

Meanwhile, in a Bernama report,  Mukhriz said his involvement in national politics was not to create a family dynasty although his father, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was prime minister for 22 years, but because he himself was interested in politics.

In fact, he said, he was prevented from joining politics by his father while the latter was still prime minister and Umno president.
"If he (Dr Mahathir) had really wanted to create a dynasty, he could have much earlier got my elder brother (Mokhzani) and I into politics and government administration when he was prime minister and party president.
"I admit that my 'bin' (son of) attracts attention. It also props me up to a certain image as he (Dr Mahathir) was a national leader for a long time and he still has a lot of support today.
"I am happy to continue with his struggles for the party and country but I have my own ideas," Mukhriz said at a press conference after announcing his intention to contest an Umno vice-president post in the party elections this October.
Mukhriz, who is also Kedah Umno Liaison Committee chairman, said there were now Umno delegates and ordinary people who had started judging his capability in administering the state and thinking of strategies for the party's survival.
Mukhriz said he would also be filling the nomination form to contest the Jerlun Umno division post in the party divisional election after the incumbent Datuk Abu Hasan Sarif made way for him to do so.
"Datuk Abu Hasan has informed that I actually would not be contesting for the post but that he would hand it over to me. We (Kedah Umno) totally believe in unity because of unity, we won back the state. 
"In some of our "kawasan" (constituencies), I must admit there were some disunity before but just before the general election, we managed to consolidate and bring together all the different interests and showed a united front, and it worked," he said. -- BERNAMA

Mukhriz made the most anticipated announcement in a packed Dewan Seri Mentaloon at the Menteri Besar's official residence today.-- Sharul Hafiz Zam

Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir (middle) with three state Umno leaders Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, Datuk Seri Mahadzir Khalid and Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim who will be contesting in the coming party polls in October. NSTP pix by Sharul Hafiz Zam

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