I wish to come to the defence of Najib, for not selecting Khairy to a cabinet post despite him being elected the UMNO Youth leader. I based my defence of Najib on what I read, and the many discussions that I had with friend who are in politics, and well as those who are not.
Many have said that Khairy deserves to be appointed to a cabinet post, and by electing Mukhriz and the Deputy UMNO Youth Razali Ibrahim to a ministerial post, Najib is said to have breached party conventions. Some even claimed that Najib's choice of Mukhriz over Khairy is being influence by Tun Dr. Mahathir, and there is no official denial by Najib to this claim. But Tun. Dr. Mahathir had said that he did not influence Najib over the choice of his son.
I had from the outset. i.e. when Khairy was throned the Deputy UMNO Youth through some 'devious process', wondered who was this young person who suddenly shot to fame. The name Khairy was not known to most outside UMNO. And I thought in politics, one has to go through a rigorous 'step-step-step' process before finally reaching the top of the mantle. This sudden shot to fame must have puzzled many, but I suppose in UMNO it is quite acceptable, especially having to please the boss. And I could remember that Khairy was booed by some delegates when he won the Deputy UMNO Youth post uncontested. And so it was not surprising when he was booed again, when he won the Youth leader's post in the last party elections.
I do believe that family patronage did have a hand in propelling Khairy to sudden fame, during the Abdullah administration. Some says that he had enormous powers in the previous administration, being the son-in-law of the then Prime Minister, and losing the Kuala Trengganu by-election is said to be attributed to Khairy for the poor choice of candidate. Now that his father-in-law is no longer the PM, Khairy is slowly being brought down to the level of an ordinary UMNO member, despite him being the UMNO Youth leader.
If Khairy suddenly feels down-trodden, and is no longer revered as the future youngest Prime Minister, he himself is to be blame. He has set his ambitions in politics too high, and that may have offended other aspirants as well. He moves with an 'air of authority', and this too have offended may elders in the party. Khairy may not have realised this, and nobody dares to place a check on him. But this are the little failings in Khairy that one sees, but I suppose he will change as he gets a bit older and becomes more matured and wiser as an aspiring politician.
I would not want to speculate whether Tun Dr. Mahathir did have a hand in ensuring that Khairy is left out, nor do I wish to speculate that Najib is beholden on Tun Dr. Mahathir; hence the choice of Mukhriz over Khairy. But one thing is certain, that Tun Dr. Mahathir has been a consistent critic of Khairy, and more so of his father-in-law. And this relentless criticism must have influence Najib to be careful in the selection of his cabinet ministers, least he wants himself to be the latest target of criticism by Tun Dr. Mahathir.
There no doubt that Tun Dr. Mahathir still has a strong following in UMNO. And does the return of former Deputy Internal Security Minister Johari Baharom into Najib's cabinet, be seen as wanting to strengthen the power base of Tun Dr. Mahathir in UMNO? And with Mukhriz firmly rooted in a ministerial appointment, he can also act to check the power base of Khairy.
Interestingly, Tun Abdullah Badawi has been rather quiet over the Khairy issue. And I believe that it will be best that he gets away from making any comments that might create further divisions in UMNO Youth and the party.
As for Khairy, age is on his side, and there is little need for him to be in a hurry. He has now been given a special task by Najib to look into the affairs of the youth movement and party, and more importantly to rebuild the marred image of the party (and including that of himself ) that is being clouded by the scourge of corruption. And if this is to be Khairy's main responsibility, it is indeed a monumental task, and he has less than three years to do it.
And will Khairy succeed in his tasks? Only time will tell.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION
Posted at 8 pm on April 12, 2009