Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Delegates Have to Decide: Perception or Substance?

The feature "Separating KJ from Khairy" published in the Star on Nov 24 revealed, among other things, the exasperation felt by Khairy Jamaluddin over the persistent negative press that has dogged the latter part of his ten-year political career thus far. The normally cool customer has finally come around to accepting that he needs to actively "clear misconceptions stemming from 'KJ the caricature, the larger than life image'"

Describing himself as a "naturally shy politician", Khairy appears to want to distance himself from the mythical figure who purportedly wields the power behind the throne. However, the crass nature with which the many established anti-Khairy blogs rubbished the very notion of a misrepresentation, underlines the scale of his task. In one such blog, writer Piggy Singh insinuated that Khairy suffers from Split Personality Disorder. (Ironically enough, Piggy Singh writes of himself as a Muslim man "living in two worlds").

Noone would argue that the perception issue is unique to Khairy – all public figures get caricatured and many will suffer some attempt at assassinating their characters. However, his is especially acute since the attacks went unanswered for years. The candidate for the position of UMNO Youth Head also did not benefit from circumstances as they turned out in 2008. A shockingly poor electoral performance by the ruling coalition started a chain of events that culminated in the Prime Minister announcing his imminent departure in March 2009. And with that, the reservoir of goodwill (or is it calculated will?) that had erstwhile cushioned the impact of Khairy's demonization, evaporated in no time.

As it stands, the old truism that one cannot prove a negative best describes Khairy's dilemma. Even then, he has repeatedly stated that he would gladly respond to queries regarding his deeds if only there were specifics in the allegations. And to his credit, he has come out with a comprehensive answer to how the infamous ECM Libra deal – there were after all, specific questions as to how he managed to purchase the shares.

However, more general allegations such as being the head of the Fourth Floor who decides government policies and actions simply have no ready-made answers to, beyond a simple and unequivocal denial – and often this does not do the job. This explains how the systematic smear campaign has managed to perpetuate this belief that all that is wrong with this country is down to Khairy. Even when he laments the said phenomenon, as he did in the Star piece, his enemies and their conspirators; willing or accidental, find it fitting merely to respond with cynicism as opposed to substantiated comebacks. Not satisfied with labelling Khairy as mentally impaired, in response to this statement from Khairy, "I do not spend much, except to travel to meet people. The regulations for money politics are very clear, very stringent", Piggy Singh posted a photo of Khairy's Toyota Land Cruiser and repeated Lim Kit Siang's outburst accusing Khairy of being the richest unemployed in Malaysia. How one vehicle symbolises untold wealth is lost on me, but evidently when it comes to demonising Khairy substance and logic take the backseat.

Come March, delegates at the UMNO Assembly will need to decide if they want to continue with this trend, or return the elements of substance and logic to the fore of the party. If the delegates vote based on cold hard calculations of who has the best attributes and credentials to lead the Youth Wing, there can only be one winner and we know who it would be. Conversely, if they vote based on uncorroborated perception and unvalidated accusations, then they may well elect either, an inarticulate man who can hardly understand himself without a prepared text, or a man whose age alone already suggests a lack of credence to represent the Malay(sian) youth, much less win back the youth support for UMNO and BN.

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Web blog ini bukanlah laman web rasmi YB Khairy Jamaluddin , web blog ini adalah tanda sokongan kami Pro Khairy yang membayangkan sokongan kami tidak pernah terhenti kepada beliau.

Apa juga badai , fitnah dan niat yang tidak baik bukanlah halangan kepada kami yang akan terus menyokong YB Khairy Jamaluddin kerana nawaitu kami yang mahu melihat pemimpin ini terus gagah di persada politik tanah air.

Kami menulis bukan kerana nama harta atau wang berjuta , kami menulis kerana perjuangan dan kesetiaan yang lahir dari nawaitu yang ikhlas , Kami percaya Allah SWT sahaja yang maha kuasa yang akan menentukan yang boleh menghukum dan memberikan balasan setimpal kepada yang berniat jahat kepada kami dan pemimpin yang kami sayangi.

Kami akan teruskan perjuangkan dan terus menyokong YB Khairy Jamaluddin.

Kumpulan Pro Khairy.



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