Former Youth and Sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin has condemned Umno’s use of racial and religious rhetoric in the Sungai Kandis by-election.
“This is the existential dilemma facing Umno right now. There are those that still use the DAP Christian rhetoric, etc. But, there are some that are still sane too,” he tweeted on Saturday night (Aug 4).
The Rembau MP was responding to a Twitter user who said that if Umno wanted to go far, it had to stop playing with racial and religious sentiments to strike fear in others.
It was reported that Pasir Salak MP Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman had urged voters to not support a Christian-led Pakatan Harapan Government when he spoke to an all-Malay crowd in Kampung Jawa on the eve of the polls.
Tajuddin alleged Christian DAP politicians were using their positions in government to evangelise.
Among those he named were DAP leaders Lim Guan Eng, Hannah Yeoh, Teresa Kok, Anthony Loke, and Tony Pua.
Khairy also responded to another Twitter user who said that Umno should not give way to PAS to contest in the Seri Setia by-election but instead, the party should field a fresh candidate.
The Twitter user said that controversial figures should be barred from campaigning.
“That should be the way. This tactical alliance is not the way to go,” said Khairy.
He added that Umno needed to be strong on its own after another Twitter user said that the Umno-PAS alliance did not bring any political good to the party.
Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan had said Barisan would not contest for the Seri Setia seat to make way for PAS.
Asked how he would overcome Umno’s existential dilemma, Khairy said in a follow-up tweet that he would recruit a new breed of politicians with a progressive worldview, and organise a comprehensive political re-education of existing members.
“But, most importantly, leadership. That’s why I contested for the presidency,” he added.
Khairy lost his bid to become Umno president at the end of June to former deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.