I want to applaud a blogger at the blogsite http://www.fatimahzuhri.blogspot.com for a really good article on history. As someone who is fascinated with the history subject, I can’t help but to agree with what the blogger Fatimah Zuhri had to say.
Below are some of the snippets of the said article – you can read the whole article (please do) by clicking the link I provided above. There are many more gems in the original article.
1. Today, the Prime Minister has appointed a controversial figure (let us name him Mr KJ) to become a Minister. Since we are living in a free and open democracy, please allow me to give my opinion on this appointment.
2. Firstly, I respect the Prime Minister prerogative in appointing his cabinet but that does not mean we should stay silent.
3. Exactly 30 years ago, a controversial bloke (let us called him Mr AI) was appointed as a full minister – Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports. He was appointed to this ministerial position after he defeated SK for the Youth Leader position the year before. He was also at that time a member of Parliament after winning the PP seat.
5. AI was and still is considered the best in terms of oratory skill in Malaysian politics. Many of the world dictators are brilliant orator – Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini. Mao, etc . In Multi level marketing (MLM), you sell yourself and your product to get people attention. In Pasar Seni, fraudsters sells snake oil to get people attention and usually they will show documents and so called ‘evidence’ to get people attention.
Similarly, Mr KJ is also a good orator. He uses his academic credential as his testimonial. When someone try to criticize him, his supporters will throw the J-word. His products? When he first came to prominence, he was selling the Malay agenda as his product. He was so adamant of this agenda that one of his goons provoked the then Youth Leader to show ‘the keris’. However, lately, he has change his tune and try to re-brand his product similar to what Mr AI did.
7. It will be most interesting to see in the next couple of years how Mr KJ will use his position to influence the youth. My bet is that he will exactly do what Mr AI did when he was KBS and then later on, Education Minister. Back then, Mr AI abused his position to make himself an idol for the youth. Instead of promoting UMNO as a brand, he was promoting himself as the brand. This self-branding was continued in a large scale effort when he was appointed Minister of Education.
For the past 5 years, Mr KJ has done nothing as Youth Leader to improve the perception amongst the youth towards his party. Instead, he was busy promoting KJ as the brand, as a result he is considerably well-known in the social media world. This is just a sample of things to come.
9. There is no such thing as new politics. Politics is old. When Mr AI was DPM, he used his minions in the mainstream media to project an aura of ‘greatness’. Mr KJ uses social media to project his ‘greatness’. At the end of the day, the objective and the desired result is still the same. Mr Prime Minister, you were with Mr AI since the Youth days, are you too blind to see that Mr KJ is exactly like him? I do understand it is politically suicidal if Mr KJ was not given a position since he has branded himself well especially amongst the youth. So in GE14, please put him in a mixed or Chinese majority seat in Klang Valley.
A pretty good read I reckon.
Which is all true nevertheless. When Khairy Jamaluddin was not selected to be in the cabinet in 2009 and was given the amanah by the Prime Minister to concentrate on the youth and get them to vote for Barisan Nasional, he did none of that.
Instead, he cultivated idol worshipping among the easily impressed younglings. Instead of getting the young voters to vote for Barisan Nasional, he stressed on his own public image. He created the Barisan Nasional Youth Volunteer fan club just to help elevate his brand. The Khairy 2.0 is what his sycophants had chanted back in 2009.
But in stark contrast, this Umno Youth leader never did get any new votes from the newly registered young voters nor any votes from the fence sitters below 40. Did Barisan Nasional as a whole get the majority of votes from voters below 40 years old?
Hence, the illusion that was created, the hype that has been bandied around that Khairy is a ‘rising star’ is exactly just that – a hype. When the twitter army created through BNYV and other groupies specifically tasked to bomb the social media with his ‘endeavours’ and ‘effort’, it didn’t translate into what the PM had hoped for.
Moreover, the social media unit of Umno Youth is more disjointed than ever with wrong strategies being placed. If Khairy had given more focus onto the Umno Youth wing, perhaps this could be avoided. But individualistic tendencies kept him focussed on his personal vehicle – the social media and the BNYV.
Just like how Anwar Ibrahim did with NST and Utusan back in the 90s, Khairy is using the social media to further his political exploits. Up until Wednesday, that exploits went into viral when his minions pre-empted the PM himself by saying their leader may not be appointed as minister because a former premier is against it. As a result, out of the blue, the old man’s name was dragged into the social media ruckus.
Nevertheless, if their ‘exalted’ leader couldn’t get into the cabinet, the minions’ own future and potential benefits will look dim. And yet these are the same people who said, this is not the time for divisive personal interest.
How pathetic for some silly people to even drag a statesman into their own psywar just because they themselves are afraid of their own future. The statesman had been a minister for nearly 30 years and Prime Minister for 22 years and still, some wet behind the ear politician and his lackeys felt the need to vilify him? Just because he is afraid he couldn’t get to be a minister?
Please bear in mind it was only in early April he offered not to contest in GE13. Perhaps the article – drama or greed, would be the best read for this kind of situation.
But the fact of the matter is this – we need to be wary when history is repeating itself. From just plain observation, we can see that Khairy is not sincere in helping the party nor the coalition. Yes he revel himself in debates with opposition figures. But that is just to promote himself among the savvy youths. But did Barisan Nasional win more votes from the youth?
In fact, the urban youths voted for Pakatan Rakyat.
There is also this principle that one must always use in politics. When the enemy hates you, you are doing the right thing. But when your political enemy is loving you, then something is indeed wrong.
In the case of Khairy, who can ever forget the fact that Rafizi Ramli invited him to join Pakatan Rakyat no less than 3 times during their debate in London last year!
Rafizi was practically begging Khairy to join Pakatan Rakyat!
And the latest incident, to the chagrin of many Barisan Nasional members and to the befuddlement of fence sitters, Lim Kit Siang complimented Khairy as if Khairy was the next best thing that came down from the celestial heavens.
One criticism of the Cabinet announced by Najib yesterday is its distinct lack of “star” or “wow” quality.
The only person who stands head and shoulder over the rest of the Cabinet line-up in intellectual prowess is the Oxford graduate, UMNO Youth leader, Khairy Jamaluddin, but who had stepped on too many toes in his heyday as the son-in-law to Tun Abdullah in the brief period his father-in-law as the Prime Minister in Malaysia.
I had in fact had occasion to castigate Khairy in Parliament as the “richest unemployed youth in the world” when he was too big for his boots. I hope that in his many years in “wilderness” eating humble pie although he has UMNO Youth leader, conspicuously sidelined from government front-benches although his deputy was made Deputy Minister, have taught him the qualities of humility.
His final rehabilitation in being appointed to the Cabinet is however a great let-down, as his appointment to the comparatively minor Cabinet portfolio of Minister for Youth and Sports is a great injustice when he should be appointed to more substantive responsibilities.
In all our lives, have we ever heard Kit Siang gave such accolades to an Umno leader? Unless there is an ulterior motive to it, (such as his praise towards Tengku Razaleigh during the period where Ku Li was pandering towards Pakatan as well as the false magnanimity on Ghani Othman), Lim Kit Siang would rather lick sandpaper than to give such praises. And Kit Siang was not the only leader in Pakatan that had commended Khairy; there were many, many more. His perceived ‘value’ must be really, really high here in the political atmosphere.
And just like any other spineless and unprincipled politician of his ilk, Lim Kit Siang seemed to whitewash and forgotten all the accusations of corruption that he had levelled against Khairy pre-2008. We can see since last week, many foes from the opposition political parties that had once lambasted him had clearly forgiven him and commended his appointment. This is psychologically possible because they see him as someone who could not command the majority of youth to vote for Barisan Nasional. To vote for him, yes. But not Barisan Nasional. Obviously, this is beneficial for the opposition. Khairy and his supporters will call this – mature politics or politics of unity or politics of empathy or bipartisan politics or whatever justification his team want to sugarcoat his intimacy with the political opponents.
Newsflash, everytime the fence sitters or the easily swayed youths see a Barisan Nasional politician agreeing and pandering with Pakatan Rakyat’s politics, why would they vote for Barisan Nasional at all?
And just like how Anwar did it in the 90s, Khairy seems to appear more frequently in the mainstream media since his appointment than any other ministers more senior than him. It is on daily basis now.
But sadly, what he gave in return for the past 4 years upon being given the task by the party president was not satisfactory. Only hype. Only fluffy events. Only public relations stunts. The important thing – translating new voters and support into votes – were close to zero.
Umno Youth used to be the pressure group, the one that will act should there were any extremist groups bent on toppling the delicate balance of the social contract, were going overboard. But for the past few years, have we heard anything from Umno Youth? They seem to have lost their testicular fortitude. With regards to the current demand by Dong Zong, what is Umno Youth going to do about it? Just lay low and continue to let them rebuke those two highly respected academician and judge? Just because they were talking ACCORDING to the Constitution?
The Secretary General of DAP also wants an Umno vice president and the Home Minister to apologise over an innocuous statement. What will Umno Youth do? Issue warning through twitter bots and fake twitter accounts? If they are not sleeping, this would be the most manly thing they would do.
How about Ngeh Koo Ham’s tacit insolence towards the Sultan of Johor? Any idea when will Umno Youth let out a squeak?
All these signs are not good. The writing is on the wall. The Prime Minister is sleeping and being serenaded by dozens of advisers. If failure to perform is rewarded by ministership, then the least the Barisan Nasional supporters would demand is, to see a real change among the youths so that they will vote Barisan Nasional in the next general election. And that change certainly won’t be led by Khairy Jamaluddin. Judging by his past performance, it is beyond his selfish persona to actually work FOR the benefit of his party i.e., by getting the much needed votes. Umno Youth has become a lame duck.
Penetrate through the smokescreen and you’ll see only hype but no results.
But what can we expect from someone who got into his position not through merit? Do we honestly think he won the position of deputy Youth leader uncontested back in 2004 through pure merit? Back in 2009, although he was found guilty of corruption by the Umno disciplinary board but by virtue of being the son in law of the Prime Minister at that time he could continue to contest and eventually won the Umno YOuth chief post amidst allegations of bribery and money politics. All that is not merit. And we thought an Oxford graduate could win on his own two feet and save the world singlehandedly. Arguably, he could not even deliver Saluran 4 and 5.
Unless of course he can prove it once and for all in this new ministry whether more youth and new voters will vote for Barisan Nasional. But then again, I want to tell the ordinary Umno members, please do not get your hopes high.