Khairy interrupted: A nation wonders as he wanders

Published date02 February 2023
Publication titleMalay Mail Online

Many danced to celebrate ex-minister, firebrand and foreign-trained Khairy Jamaluddin's Umno expulsion. Just as many sat dumbfounded by their idol's fall from grace.

The rest hold their breath in anticipation. In Malaysia, national upheavals usually follow major Umno exits.

Prime minister Anwar Ibrahim was sacked 25 years ago from Umno. Reformasi happened and resulted in a game-changing party

Ex-PM Muhyiddin was axed in 2015 only to give birth to Bersatu. His nemesis Najib Razak then loses a general election in 2018.

Also shown the door with Muhyiddin, vice-president Shafie Apdal rejuvenates Sabah with his Warisan, ending 25 years of Barisan Nasional (BN) rule.

Khairy? Does a man who spent most of his formative years abroad possess the tenacity to shift the country's trajectory? Without a safety net of his own?

The dismissal

It was brutal and without ceremony.

In his defence, Khairy says he attacked the leadership not the party. Except the invectives coincided with a general election.

Khairy eventually ended up upsetting both President Zahid Hamidi and eventually his own ex-division chief Mohamad Hasan, also the deputy president. At the year end Umno general assembly, he claimed unfairness during floor votes.

And he got thrown out.

The naïve bit about Khairy is that he assumed the party was fair.

While Umno has processes, at its core it seeks power and never shies from rocking Malaysia's democracy to stay on top.

In fact, the laundry list of Umno's shenanigans to interpret, leverage, tilt influences, motivate actions and encourage favours, on the fringes of legal or immoral, can fill a very thick book.

Without any sense of irony or circumspection. They did not play cricket, they played mafia.

Khairy was cool with that, until they kicked him in the groin.

In this race, Khairy has lost his pacesetter spot but there are many kilometres left in this competition. - Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

In this race, Khairy has lost his pacesetter spot but there are many kilometres left in this competition. - Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

All doors to Camelot

Without a solid base, he rose quickly.

At the start of 2000 he was already dating the deputy prime minister's daughter. No, not that one. Abdullah Badawi (Pak Lah) as the heir apparent to Mahathir Mohamad after the ugly Anwar spat had to tread carefully, and Khairy came on board.

When the Pak Lah years began (2003-2009) rumours of a busy son-in-law surfaced.

Within four years, he won the deputy Youth chief position. By 2009, he was the...

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