Tun Mahathir has been forthright in declaring that the reason for not attending the UMNO General Assembly is directly related to Khairy winning the UMNO Youth post. He believes that Khairy does not deserve to win, or for that matter be allowed to contest in the party election at all, because he was found guilty of money politics.
In the case of Ali Rustam who was found quilty of a similar offence, was barred from contesting, and even his appeal was rejected. If this isn't selective punishment, what else can one say of Khairy's judgment by the disciplinary committee. Many believe that some mysterious hands were at work to ensure that Khairy gets a lesser punishment, and it was not surprising that some in UMNO had even called for the dissolution of the disciplinary committee.
To the people that I talked to, they seemed amazed and bewildered at how Mukriz Mahathir could have lost badly in the contest. He led the nominations, with Khairy at third placing. But the reverse happened at polling day. Even the time taken for the counting and recounting of ballot papers was exceptionally long. Was it money politics that gave Khairy the winning edge, or was it the mysterious hands at work again? Doubts has been raised, and UMNO members ought to be forgiven if they have a negative perception of Khairy.
The jeering heard following the announcement that Khairy had won the contest, clearly indicates the animosity and dissatisfaction of certain UMNO groups against Khairy. This is not a healthy sign, and Khairy has to be weary that the opposition from within UMNO can be even more damaging and serious, than the opposition from outside the party. The path for Khairy will therefore not be smooth and easy, but one that is full of turbulence and pit falls. And with his father-in-law no longer at the helm of government, Khairy will certainly not be able to get the political patronage that he enjoys in the past.
The major test for Khairy's leadership is yet to come. But with his uncertain popularity among the grassroots, will he be allowed to appear at the up-coming by-election rally scheduled this April? Or will he be told to skip the rally and to concentrate on strengthening UMNO Youth, and also to remodeled his character and image first. Certainly, shouting, showing his fist and fiery stunts will no longer be acceptable by UMNO anymore.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION
Posted at 11.05 pm on March 27, 2009