AMBITIOUS KHAIRY MOVES CLOSER TO THE PM’S CHAIR: AS TALK OF HISHAM-KJ FOR PM-DPM COMBO GROWS, KHAIRY LAUDS NAJIB’S ‘WISE’ DECISION TO PROMOTE HISHAM, DISPLACE ZAHID

PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Hisham­muddin Hussein’s appointment as Minister with Special Functions will strengthen the Government and Umno, says the party’s youth wing.

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said all speculation surrounding the appointment was “unfounded”, adding that the move had the full backing of the Cabinet and party grassroots.

“Whether or not the speculation involves the Prime Minster, Deputy Prime Minister or the upcoming Umno elections … it is completely unfounded because we are all in support of the appointment.

“We need a strong senior leadership team in the Government and in the party to face the coming general election, whenever that may be.

“In fact, within Umno, we are quite amused with all the speculation and all the analysis on this appointment because it is rather straightforward.

“It’s to ensure he (Hishammud­din) is able to continue with some of his cross-ministerial and strategic duties,” Khairy, who is the Youth and Sports Minister, said after a ceremony to unveil the new TN50 ambassadors.

Hishammuddin’s new appointment was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Wednesday. His new portfolio is on top of his Defence Minister post.

Khairy said the appointment was discussed in Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, adding that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and all others were fully supportive.

“We have explained to the grassroots that the Government and the party will be strengthened by the appointment.

ANN

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