Thursday, August 13, 2015
Khairy: A Chance To Be A Hero
I have been many a time condemned for suggesting that Khairy Jamaluddin is the future leader of Umno and the country. There are many KJ haters and sceptics out there.
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I am no KJ’s admirer, but I have say that, given the dearth of promising young leaders in the party, KJ shines like a distant star in the dark void of space.
I have not met him for years now. All that I know about him is from the media and from the people who dislike him.
But no matter how hard I try, I could not seem to find another equally visible candidate to take over Umno in the years to come, assuming that the party survives the current leadership crisis, witch hunt, vendetta and MAD (mutually assured destruction).
Although I have ceased to be associated with Umno since June last, I still think it has a good chance of surviving – if not as a ruling party at least as a strong opposition.
If the latter should be the case, KJ could be a good candidate for Ketua Pembangkang Parlimen (Parliamentary Opposition Leader).
At the rate Umno is going down the chute under (Datuk Seri) Mohd Najib Abdul Razak and his merry men and women, the latter is a distinct possibility.
Back in 2008 I wrote in this blog an article entitled “KJ: Daripada Shooting Star kepada Underdog” to which his mother, whom I know rather well, took serious umbrage. KJ had described himself as shooting star and tall poppy to explain widespread resentment against his meteoric rise under the patronage of (Tun) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
I contended that in the Malay language, shooting star is called “tahi bintang” which I literally translated as the excrement of the star – a burning asteroid plunging down to earth. Read here if you wish.
In recent months KJ has been in dilemma - not knowing exactly how to protect his own flank without being seen to be disloyal to his beleaguered party president and Prime Minister.
He has been alternating between dithering, hedging and pontificating.
But his latest statement is brave, pointed and damning. Speaking at the Malaysian Student Leaders Summit in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 9 he said the government needs to immediately deal with its trust deficit and the crisis of confidence it faces to stem the free fall of the ringgit.
He was also quoted as saying that the party, meaning Umno, is bigger than one man (read Mohd Najib).
The Youth and Sports Minister said the lack of confidence and trust in the government also caused investors to take their money out of Malaysia.
“No one trusts the message or the messenger. This crisis in confidence is why the ringgit is in free fall and investors are taking their money elsewhere.“The more the ringgit falls, the more expensive things are,” Khairy was quoted telling the summit.
Like many in Umno KJ knows that Mohd Najib is a goner in as far as public confidence and trust are concerned.
Many of the more educated and independent Umno leaders, including in the party’s supreme council and the Cabinet, know that for as long as Mohd Najib remains the PM, public confidence and trust will remain dismal.
So for KJ to say that the country is suffering from trust deficit and the crisis of confidence is nothing out of the ordinary. What would be out of the ordinary is his solution to the problem.
Would he dare to lead the charge of the light brigade to topple Mohd Najib and rebuild public trust and confidence? Or would he continue to dither, waver, vacillate, falter and hesitate?
As for the economy and the ringgit, that is what we have been saying for months. The fall of the ringgit to below RM4 to a US dollar on Aug 12 was the ultimate proof of that.
If KJ does nothing beyond speaking, he will go down in history as an Umno Youth Leader who misses the opportunity to do something good for his party and great for his country.
The young people in front of whom he made the statement would remember what he said for a long time to come. They would have shared what he said with their online friends.
Where does he stand and what is his feature in all the formulations and permutations concerning the future leadership of the country in the post-Najib era?
He could seize that occasion to prove that he dares to walk the talk or to affirm that he is yet another self-serving, sweet-talking fake pejuang.
FOOTNOTE: The PKR could have fallen into the PM’s trap when it filed a civil suit against him for allegedly committing electoral offences. The suit could render debate on Mohd Najib’s multi-billion ringgit political “donations” sub judice.
- A KADIR JASIN
- I was born in 1947 in Kedah. I came from a rice farming family. I have been a journalist since 1969. I am the Editor-in-Chief of magazine publishing company, Berita Publishing Sdn Bhd. I was Group Editor NST Sdn Bhd and Group Editor-in-Chief of NSTP Bhd between 1988 and 2000. I write fortnightly column “Other Thots” in the Malaysian Business magazine, Kunta Kinte Original in Berita Harian and A Kadir Jasin Bercerita in Dewan Masyarakat. Books: Biar Putih Tulang (1998), Other Thots – Opinions & Observations 1992-2001 (2001), The Wings of an Eagle (2003), Mencari Dugalia Huso (2006), Damned That Thots (2006), Blogger (2006), PRU 2008-Rakyat Sahut Cabaran (2008), Komedi & Tragedi-Latest in Contemporary Malaysian Politics (2009) and Membangun Bangsa dengan Pena (2009).