Zahid claimed KJ had asked to contest the seat.
Caretaker Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin admitted that he met MIC president Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran to offer himself as the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Sungai Buloh parliamentary constituency seat for the 15th General Election (GE15).
The former Rembau member of parliament, however, said he did so after receiving no word on where he could stand for election after having to give up the Rembau seat, which he held for three terms, to BN deputy chairman Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.
“I knew that I had to vacate the Rembau seat. At the time, I had no choice. I had to do something for myself. So, I took the initiative to meet with Tan Sri Noh Omar (who is Selangor BN chairman) and Vigneswaran.
“There were not many parliamentary seats left, (as there were) just two or three at the time. So, I said, ‘it is OK, I choose Sungai Buloh’. I did not choose to stand in Sungai Buloh from early on.
“I was waiting for a word or signal from the top brass but there was nothing. When one by one seats were taken up and no longer ‘available’, in the end I have come to (the decision of contesting in) Sungai Buloh.
“I do not want to lengthen the polemic with the Umno president, because it is not right to talk about it through the media. But the fact of the matter is, I was left with no choice because the party leadership did not give any indication to me as to where I could go to,” he said on the sidelines after visiting SME Aerospace here earlier today.
Yesterday, BN chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi revealed that Khairy was the one who asked to stand for election in Sungai Buloh.
Zahid, who is also Umno president, was quoted as saying that no one forced or pushed Khairy to stand for election in the said constituency.
Speaking further, Khairy said there was no issue of him supposedly turning his back on Zahid because he was not given any sign or signal regarding his position.
“How is it that I supposedly turned my back on him (Zahid)? I was not given any sign, signal or indication, I was not invited to discuss. Therefore, with the date for nominations of candidates getting closer, I had to something for myself. So I took the initiative to discuss with Noh.
“He (Noh) contacted me and said that if there was no place (for me to contest in), then why not come over to Selangor. It was only after that I met the MIC president because before that seat was contested by MIC.
“To say that I am the one who asked to stand for election in the Sungai Buloh parliamentary seat… Well, it is correct to an extent, but I worked hard to get it because there were no other seats left. However, I do not want to quarrel with the president. The fact of the matter is I have come to Sungai Buloh representing BN,” he explained.
Speaking on the statement made by Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin that Khairy was in the wrong party to become prime minister, the latter believed otherwise and insisted that he was in the right party.
“In my opinion, I am in the right party. Thank you, Muhyiddin, for making such a comment about me. I worked very hard when he appointed me to become the minister in charge of coordinating the Covid-19 immunisation programme.
“He knows what I am capable of. When working, I will get the job done. However, on the question of party, he (Muhyiddin) is with PN while I am with BN,” said Khairy. – NST