Khairy Jamaluddin today answered critics of his recent announcement that he wished to be prime minister one day, saying there was nothing wrong with being ambitious.
"There's nothing wrong with anyone having ambitions," he said at a press conference in Cyberjaya.
"I only signalled my desire to serve the country and the people.
"If given the opportunity, I would like to serve the country one day."
Khairy, Barisan Nasional's candidate in Sungai Buloh, had said at an election event this week that he wanted to lead Umno one day and to become the prime minister.
His announcement was compared by some to the ambition of Pakatan Harapan chairman Anwar Ibrahim, who has been gunning for the top post for some two decades.
Khairy was fielded in Sungai Buloh to make way for Umno deputy president Mohamad Hasan to contest his seat instead.
He had held the Rembau seat for three terms before being sent to contest in Sungai Buloh.
Khairy is seen as one of several Umno leaders opposed to their president, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
In 2018, he stood against Zahid in the race for the Umno presidency. He lost to Zahid with 61 out of 191 divisional votes, but beat veteran leader Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah who came in last.