KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 — Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today reportedly told Khairy Jamaluddin to instead thank him for even allowing the latter to contest in Sungai Buloh this election.

Harian Metro reported Ahmad Zahid saying that Khairy, who has been Rembau MP since 2004, was dropped as a candidate there because his replacement — party deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan — is better.

“He should thank me for giving him the opportunity to contest in Sungai Buloh,” the Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman reportedly said, referring to Khairy.

Ahmad Zahid said that Mohamad is a more qualified candidate to contest Rembau as the Negri Sembilan BN chief and Rembau chief, unlike Khairy is only a member of the division.

“I let him compete in Sungai Buloh even though it’s not his place,” Ahmad Zahid was quoted saying in Bagan Datuk.

“So he needs to work hard to win the Sungai Buloh seat and contribute to the formation of the BN government.”

Additionally, Ahmad Zahid commented on Khairy’s desire to become prime minister — saying the possibility depends on Khairy’s own effort.

“First of all, he must strengthen the party, not weaken the party. He must win in Sungai Buloh. He must also be accepted by the party and not contradict the party.

“We can have different opinions. But if you show yourself to be the best, the smartest, the wisest. That means you’ll be noticed,” he said.

Earlier, Khairy claimed that Ahmad Zahid might not be satisfied because he disputed the BN chairman’s decision regarding his candidacy for the 15th general election.

Khairy said he had to contest Sungai Buloh as he had no other choice.