PETALING JAYA: A Johor Umno supreme council member has challenged Khairy Jamaluddin to form his own party and see if he can attract youths into joining it.

Datuk Dr Puad Zarkashi said former prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had labelled Khairy, the former Umno Youth chief, as a “magnet” for youths to join Umno.

“We shall see whether youths will come in droves to follow KJ’s ‘magnet’,” he added. Khairy is also popularly known by his KJ moniker.

Puad also taunted Khairy to be “brave” like Muda president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman who formed a new party after he was sacked from Bersatu.

“KJ can prove that his magnetism is fine,” he said on Facebook.

He was commenting on Ismail Sabri’s warning that Umno would lose support from youths after Khairy was sacked, and that Khairy’s sacking was tantamount to throwing away a youth “magnet”.

Puad said Ismail Sabri, an Umno vice-president, should have proposed to the party’s supreme council to have made Khairy its “poster boy” in the 15th General Election (GE15) last November.

Ismail Sabri was the poster boy for Barisan Nasional in GE15, and would have been the prime minister candidate if the coalition had won.Despite several offers since his sacking, Khairy said he is keeping his options open.