On 15 November, with a few days to go before GE15 and Malaysians having to decide the path of the country’s future, the outgoing Minister of Health, Khairy Jamaluddin, a.k.a KJ, was faced with a dilemma of his own making.
Knowing that his future was uncertain, KJ made a confession that many will agree, had been decades overdue.
Had he made this confession in 2018, or earlier, the rakyat would have sympathized with him and given him much moral support.
However, making this confession at this late stage in GE15, it just looked as if KJ was merely trying to attract the rakyat’s sympathy.
By the 20 November, KJ will know if his political future has sunk, like a lead balloon, or whether he has scored a bright future.
He said that he regarded some Umno-baru leaders with contempt and confessed that if he were triumphant in Sungai Buloh, he would reform the party to cleanse it and return it to its former glory.
Well, why did it take at least two decades for KJ to realize that Umno-Baru is tainted?
He refused to call out the convicted felon, Najib Abdul Razak, for stealing from the taxpayer in the 1MDB scandal, and he refused to censure other corrupt leaders within the party.
Now that he is on the cusp of perhaps the most important test in his political life, he is suddenly playing the hero and victim card, both at the same time.
He wants to play the role of the “hero” and be seen as the one in Umno-Baru who is willing to admit the party is riddled with corruption, with leaders who freely abuse their powers. At the same time, he wants to be seen as the one who will “save” Umno-Baru.
He said that he wanted the rakyat to renew their trust in the party. More importantly, he claimed that he was keen to bring the necessary changes to the nation, to Umno-Baru, and to the BN coalition, so that ‘the Malay community could have the largest political body in Malaysia that it could be proud of’.
Does he really think that we are all so stupid to not realize that nothing will change if he does get his way?
Despite his sentiments at wanting to be the reformist, KJ is still not courageous enough to take the bold step of making Umno-Baru a party which does not just represent only the Malay community.
Despite his bold claims of wanting to reform the party, he is still stuck in a race based mindset.
At the same time, KJ wants to project the image that he is a ‘victim’ in the internal shenanigans of the Umno-Baru internal power struggle.
He claimed that the Umno-Baru president, Zahid Hamidi was unhappy, and disappointed with him. He said he had little choice but to negotiate his own way to Sungai Buloh, as he had been forced to vacate his previous Rembau seat for the party’s deputy president Mohamad Hasan.
So, was KJ living in a vacuum these past few decades ever since his father in-law, Abdullah Badawi, was the prime minister.
Despite allegations of corruption within his party, vote rigging, and other wrong doings, KJ has remained steadfastly loyal to Umno-Baru and has refused to leave the party.
He probably enjoyed many privileges as the son-in-law of the PM and in his special position, he could probably do no wrong, as he would be ‘protected’ by the PM.
KJ joins other senior MPs in Umno-Baru, whose oft repeated phrase was to tell the public not to worry, because they would “change the party from the inside.” That empty soundbite was a lot of hot air.
Would KJ’s leadership be able to change the direction of Umno-Baru? The rakyat want someone with new ideas. They are desperate for an inspiring leader, not a recycled Umno-Baru “Yes man” who could not even recognize a kleptocrat operating in the party..
KJ could learn to be less haughty, and less arrogant, but will he? He is normally associated with the elite, and at GE14, allowed himself to be the poodle of the disgraced former PM, Najib Abdul Razak.
In the last video which these two made together, days before GE14, they discussed how Pakatan Harapan (PH), was a public relations disaster and how Harapan was a party with no “hope.”
The irony was that Umno-Baru lost GE14, and KJ must have considered himself the prize idiot. He had been seen in the video praising Najib, but when they lost, KJ was seen as someone who lacked judgment and his joint message with Najib, was pure propaganda.
KJ must have known that when Umno-Baru lost, that one clip had made him the laughing stock of the rakyat.
Today, KJ wants the people of Sungai Buloh to vote for him so that one day he could lead the nation as its PM.
Once bitten, twice shy. Why should we trust KJ, when he failed to admit that Najib was acting like a common thief, who robbed the nation blind, and whose actions have saddled the nation with a trillion ringgit debt?
KJ lacks judgment and today, merely says many things we want to hear, so that he can save his own skin. He lacks potential as a future PM.
Malaysiakini: KJ: Cases against Umno leaders won’t be dropped, image must be restored
(Mariam Mokhtar is a Freelance Writer.)