Mariam Mokhtar on allegations KJ needs to answer

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Khairy carries a lot of baggage, which he cannot easily dismiss, however clean an image he wants to project.

Bernama

A few days ago, Khairy Jamaluddin, the outgoing Health minister, expressed a desire to win Sungei Buloh first, before eventually setting his sights on becoming a future prime minister of Malaysia.

Amongst other things, he claimed that the 2016 scandal at the Ministry of Youth had already been resolved. RM107 million was embezzled by a senior official at the ministry, but where is the news link to this scandal? Has the money been recovered? Or is it more like business as usual? As far as most of us are aware, no-one has been punished, nor been held accountable.

Why is the name of this individual, who allegedly masterminded this scam since 2010, kept out of the news? Is he linked to a politician or an elite Malaysian family?

It is all very well saying that the embezzlement started before his (KJ’s) time, so what is wrong with giving Malaysians the news they want to hear, instead of shifting the blame, yet again? Who is the individual? How was the minister whom he served under punished too? Was he aware it was happening? KJ needs to answer these questions too.

This scandal, and many others like it, have not been satisfactorily explained to the general public.

In March 2021, when he was the Science, Technology, and Innovation miniser, KJ was voted the best performing minister in the Perikatan National (PN) cabinet. His success was gained from the ‘vaccine boost’ when he was the minister in charge of the coronavirus vaccination programme. Would he have scored as highly if there was no coronavirus pandemic?

If truth be told, Khairy carries a lot of baggage, which he cannot easily dismiss, however clean an image he wants to project. When his father-in-law was PM, he acted with extreme arrogance, as Abdullah Badawi was there to prop him up. KJ also knows how to play the game as a populist, or party loyalist.

The caretaker PM, Ismail Sabri, the PN chairman, Mahiaddin Yassin, and the Bersatu secretary-general, Hamzah Zainuddin have all praised Khairy’s bravado in declaring his intention to be PM.

They said that KJ was eligible, had good credibility, excelled in his duties as minister, was trustworthy, and a good leader.

Before KJ rushes headlong into self-promotion and self-praise, could he say why he failed to call out the convicted felon, Najib Abdul Razak, for his role in the 1MDB fiasco? His denial then shows that he does not have the gravitas to be a future PM.

On the eve of GE-14, he made a video with Najib with a scene from a mamak stall, boasting about the brilliance of Umno-Baru. Umno-Baru lost GE-14 and Najib was eventually charged, found guilty, and sentenced for his role in mega corruption.

In the past, KJ has allegedly been reluctant to condemn former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad for promoting corruption during his tenure. It is not just the corruption, but the racism, the anti-semitism, and also the multiple scandals which occurred during Mahathir’s rule as the 4th PM.

Mahiaddin Yassin, of Bersatu, said that KJ had a good future, but was in the wrong party. Is that an invitation to join Bersatu? At the way Umno-Baru is affected by internal power struggles, KJ may as well gather up some of the young talent and form a new multiracial party, if he indeed wants to make an impact in Malaysian politics, rather than be tainted by the diseased Umno-Baru genetic make-up. The new party could be a formidable adversary, not just for PKR, but also for Bersatu.

He will face a multitude of challenges, not least from the Registrar of Societies, but also Umno-Baru. Their grassroots and division heads will be less than pleased. However, can KJ get rid of the Ketuanan Melayu principle, which is deeply ingrained in the minds of many Malay Umno-Baru politicians? Will he be willing to put the interests of the country first and follow the letter and spirit of the Federal Constitution when it comes to protecting the rights of the minority races?

KJ may think he has the support of many Malaysians, but many questions remain unanswered. An Oxford degree may sway a lot of Malaysians, but it means nothing if the individual has no integrity or principles and lacks transparency. When Najib Abdul Razak stole from the rakyat, why did KJ keep quiet? So, he knows which side his bread is buttered.

More importantly, how can we trust him if he cannot even speak up for the rakyat when a penyamun was robbing Malaysians and raiding the nations? Once bitten, twice shy. – Rebuilding Malaysia