Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein on Thursday announced that he would not defend his post to make way for a new face after leading the movement for 10 years.
“I have gathered feedback on whether I was viable to contest for the position and what I received was very good,” he said adding that he would not change his decision to contest if he continued to receive positive feedback.
Dr Mohd Khir added that the experience gained during his tenure as mentri besar and Barisan Nasional (BN) state chief was an added asset for him to lead the youth wing.
“I will be able to give the Umno youth movement a new dimension with my experience,” he said.
To a question if he would obtain the party leadership’s blessing as endorsement, Dr Mohd Khir said that anyone could contest for the post, as it was a vacated position.
When asked if he would come to an "agreement" with any other candidates vying for the same position, he said: “I will not compromise with any other candidate as this is an open competition in which anyone can contest.”
Mukhriz, an Umno Youth executive council member, said he would contest if he gets positive feedback from members.
“I leave it to the members to decide which post they feel is appropriate for me,” he said in JERLUN after presenting aid to 60 people whose houses were damaged in a recent thunderstorm.
Those vying for the top post in the wing need to get nominations from at least 20% of the 191 youth divisions.
Mukhriz also commended Hishammuddin for not endorsing any particular candidate as his successor.
“We are very encouraged by the fact that our chief did not state his preference ... allowing for an open contest is very healthy indeed for the wing and the party. And it is only fair to allow the Youth members to decide for themselves who they want as their leaders,” he said.
Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin has not indicated if he wanted to join in the fray. He had no comment when the Press contacted him after Hishammuddin's announcement.