Four days after Khairy Jamaluddin joined Anwar administration in a discussion about Malaysia economy, he shared a photo of his meeting with Opposition Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin on Instagram. Since his sacking from Malay nationalist party UMNO on January 27 this year, former health minister Khairy has been without a party.

Khairy’s meeting with Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, along with business leaders, economic experts, and politicians, including UMNO vice-president Johari Abdul Ghani, has triggered speculation that Khairy might join the unity government. However, after the photo of him and Muhyiddin smiling emerged in social media, rumours say he might join the opposition.

So, which side would Khairy choose? On one side, PM Anwar does not, at least not publicly and officially, offers any position for him. The prime minister, who is also the finance minister, said the meeting was part of a continuing effort to gather views from every part of society. Hence, Mr Khairy might have overestimated his value if he thinks his opinion is highly sought after.

On another side, the desperate Muhyiddin has offered a seat on the supreme council of his party – Bersatu or Malaysian United Indigenous Party. There’re also speculations that Khairy was lured with an offer to contest either in Selangor or Negeri Sembilan in the upcoming six state elections, and will be made a Chief Minister of the state – if the opposition can win the states.

Interestingly, three days ago, former backdoor prime minister Muhyiddin puts pressure on Azmin Ali to win Selangor for Perikatan Nasional. Clearly, Muhyiddin was incredibly desperate when he said that Azmin, a former Chief Minister of Selangor (2014-2018), has the responsibility to deliver the country’s most developed state on a silver platter for the Opposition.

Perhaps Bersatu president Muhyiddin didn’t get the memo that Azmin, the most hated traitor, has expressed his desire to take a break from politics. Without realizing it, Muhyiddin has spilled the beans that everything is not well within Perikatan Nasional. First of all, Bersatu appears to be leaderless in Selangor as its president had to beg Azmin to lead and win the state.

Jokes on the street was that Azmin, who betrayed his former party – PKR (People’s Justice Party) – and caused the collapse of democratically-elected Pakatan Harapan government in March 2020, was throwing tantrum when he announced his temporary exit from politics. Apparently, he was furious after rumours spread that his boss was courting Khairy to join Bersatu.

Second – exactly how will Azmin deliver Selangor when he could not even defend the Gombak parliamentary seat he had held since 2004, when he lost to his protégé Amirudin Shari in the Nov 2022 General Election? Bersatu reportedly said Azmin might run away to “safe seat” Morib, with an option to contest in Hulu Kelang, forcing him to say he will not contest in the coming Selangor state polls.

Third, even if Azmin can win Selangor, which he can’t, what makes him so cocksure that he will return as the state chief minister once again? Assuming he doesn’t mind a downgrade from his previous prestigious position as Senior Minister of the Economic Cluster as well as Minister of International Trade and Industry, Muhyiddin might surrender Selangor to PAS Islamist party.

Yes, if somehow Pakatan Harapan lost its crown jewel Selangor to Perikatan Nasional, chances are Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS – Parti Islam Se-Malaysia) would appoint its own assemblyman as the state chief minister. Currently, PAS is ruling Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis, whilst Bersatu has none. Essentially, PAS calls the shot in the coalition.

Therefore, Muhyiddin was actually sending a “message” to his partner PAS when he told all and sundry that Azmin must deliver Selangor for Perikatan Nasional. Bersatu wanted to assert its claim on the territory after the Islamist party said it has many candidates capable of becoming Selangor Chief Minister. For strategic purposes, Bersatu cannot tell Malays that PAS will lead the state.

If Muhyiddin reveals to the progressive Malays or liberal Malays in Selangor that religious extremists PAS will lead the state if Perikatan Nasional wins the state election, the Malay community will be spooked. Telling Azmin to win Selangor was a gimmick to hoodwink Selangor Malays into thinking that a vote for Perikatan Nasional is a vote for Bersatu, when it’s actually a vote for PAS.

Either way, neither Azmin nor Khairy will become the Chief Minister of Selangor – even if the Opposition could miraculously unseat the current Pakatan Harapan state government. Like Azmin, Khairy could not even defeat Pakatan Harapan’s Ramanan Ramakrishnan. At most, Khairy might become Chief Minister of Negeri Sembilan, if he can accept a downgrade from his previous ministerial position.

The best part is Azmin isn’t sure whether Muhyiddin is using his past experience to win Selangor, only for Khairy to become the state chief minister. Khairy too isn’t sure whether Muhyiddin is using his appeal among young voters to win Selangor, only for Muhyiddin to give PAS the state chief minister. Heck, Muhyiddin isn’t sure if Bersatu can win any seat at all in Selangor.

But if it’s already a mission impossible for Muhyiddin to snatch Selangor, it’s definitely delusional to think the opposition can win Negeri Sembilan – the only state which Perikatan Nasional has failed to penetrate in the 15th General Election. With Pakatan Harapan and rival Barisan Nasional working together, it’s hilarious for Perikatan Nasional to think it could wrestle the state.

Crucially, both Bersatu and PAS have become more extreme and radical. If Khairy is dumb enough to join racist bigot Bersatu or religious extremist PAS, he would effectively lose the support of not only Chinese and Indian, but also all the Christians in the country. Khairy will have to play to the gallery, spewing and promoting racist hatred, xenophobia, and all forms of bigotry.

During the 15th election, racist bigot Muhyiddin said Christians were working with Jews to Christianise Malaysia, while Hadi tried to radicalise people with violent Islamic extremism. Having been UMNO members for 23 years till his sacking, has Khairy become so desperate he needs to rush to join Bersatu? Besides, his beef is with UMNO president Zahid Hamidi, not the party itself.

Once Khairy crossed the Rubicon, he can’t dig himself out of the hole. As of now, he can still return to UMNO one day. Mahathir Mohamad was once expelled from UMNO in 1969 after his forceful advocacy of ethnic Malay nationalism brought him into conflict with Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman. But Mahathir rejoined the party in 1970, and became the prime minister for 22 years (1981-2003).

Unlike Bersatu, which relies on PAS grassroots and machinery, UMNO’s 22,000 branches across the country provide full coverage in every single village that not even the Islamist party could rival. As an Oxford graduate, Khairy does not need to hire a rocket scientist to tell him that UMNO is still the best platform for him to pursue his ambition to become a prime minister.

Playing hard to get, the indecisive 47-year-old Khairy doesn’t know how to choose. He wants the best of both worlds. He wants his cake and eats it too. He knew that his liberal and progressive ideology clashes with PAS’, the biggest partner in Perikatan Nasional coalition that he has to “kowtow” to if he decides to join Bersatu. And what makes him think Bersatu grassroots can accept him?

Once the de-facto prime minister during Badawi administration, Khairy was infamous for being the arrogant leader of the “fourth-floor boy”, rising through the party’s ranks due to his father-in-law. He was once the 28-year-old arrogant boy who controlled and manipulated the prime minister’s moves and decision-making – while PM Badawi was sleeping on the job most of the time.

As the rising star, Khairy was as racist and corrupt as Hishammuddin Hussein, the cousin of Najib Razak. Like Hishammuddin, Mr Khairy too had brandished, kissed and waved the “keris” (Malay dagger) in attempts to intimidate and threaten minority Chinese. He once called political bloggers as “monkeys” and even had recommended they be punished for writing anti-government opinions in cyberspace.

Yet, despite being the most powerful 28-year-old in Malaysia who “controls and manipulates the prime minister’s (father-in-law) moves and decision-making”, Khairy lacked the support of UMNO grassroots. Born abroad and having spent most of his early years on foreign soil, Khairy returned to Malaysia only in the late 1990s before serving as special officer to Badawi during his stint as deputy premier.

And you don’t need a genius to tell who was the mastermind behind the civil servant of the Ministry of Youth and Sports involved in RM100 million scandal. It was only after his father-in-law was forced by Najib to retire in 2009 that Khairy had lost the support of a “powerful cable”, forcing him to survive on his own in the dog-eat-dog world of UMNO.

The perception that Oxford-educated Khairy is relatively clean and efficient as the former health minister is largely because 99% of UMNO leaders and ministers were clueless, incompetent, extremely corrupt and not highly educated. But that’s not the only reasons why he is an over-rated leader. He had chosen to keep quiet during Najib’s 1MDB scandal – even defending his boss’ corruption.

Lest we forget, he was one of the participants of “Sheraton Move”, a political coup that toppled the democratically-elected multiracial Pakatan Harapan government in March 2020. So, not only he allowed Najib to steal billions of dollars of people’s money, he was as power-crazy as Mahiaddin Yassin and Azmin Ali when the backdoor government was formed.

His achievement included a special instruction from his Ministry of Health to free Najib by relocating the crook to the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital, allowing the prisoner to stay in VVIP ward – till the plan was exposed by an anonymous. Khairy claimed Najib needed physiotherapy, but Najib only suffered high blood pressure, which had nothing to do with physiotherapy.

More importantly, was it not under Khairy’s ministry that Pharmaniaga, despite lack of expertise, was allowed to rebottle and repackage Sinovac vaccine at a time when people were dying so that some cronies could profit from it? He is partyless today because he had bet the wrong horse. And he is about to commit political suicide by betting that Perikatan Nasional could overthrow the Unity Government.

If he is as good and popular as he claims to be, he should set up his own party, the same way Anwar Ibrahim passionately and patiently established PKR when he was sacked by UMNO president Mahathir Mohamad in 1998. Even if it takes Khairy another 10 years to become prime minister, he will still be relatively young at the age of 57. For now, he should stay as radio DJ.

Source : Finance Twitter

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