Written by Nawawi Mohamad, Stan Lee, Malaysia Chronicle (12-13-11)
Rafizi Ramli, the PKR director for strategy, received the official reply from UMNO Youth to his debate challenge on the RM250 million Shahrizat Jalil-NFC debacle only 3 weeks after throwing down the gauntlet.
Worse still, UMNO Youth chief Khairy Jamaludin decided to chicken out, saying he could not make the event which had been slated for December 12 as he had another engagement.
After deep thought, which critics say is surprisingly slow for an Oxford graduate, it appears that Khairy finally came to his senses and decided that not only is it a lost cause, but it could also lead to more UMNO wrong doings being exposed.
Furthermore, the UMNO top echelon have put their foot down, making it clear they want a full stop on the matter before more amongst them were implicated, resulting in themselves not being categorized as “winnable” candidates by their party.
No Rembau but maybe Kepala Batas
Now, Khairy has been exposed as the main player who pushed the buttons in the project to start a cattle livestock industry in Malaysia. However, his tight daily schedule and impatience could have led him to overlook many salient points in getting the project off the ground.
He must surely regret it now because it has come back to haunt him, jeopardising his already tattered political future and ambition to be the youngest prime minister in Malaysian history.
The 35-year-old Khairy had foolishly defended the debacle. Unfortunately, because of that he is as good as a nobody now. The UMNO grapevine is hot with talk that his comfortable seat in Rembau is also going to be given to Hassan Muhammad the present Mentri Besar of Negeri Sembilan.
It seems that the only seat available for Khairy, should he insist on contesting, would be Kepala Batas, which is currently being held by his father-in-law and former premier Abdullah Badawi.
In his political maneuvers, Khairy has made many enemies both within and outside UMNO since the early days when he was so naive as to believe that his father-in-law could stay in power until the day the post would automatically be handed over to him.
Now Khairy has to face the stark reality that he was sidelined the day Najib Razak took over as Prime Minister and UMNO President. Many in UMNO were even overjoyed when Khairy was not given a Cabinet post as they blamed him for the party's poor performance in the 2008 general election.
Unfocused and unwise
Despite all his advantages, Khairy is not focused and not wise enough to take advantage of all the inside information he has on UMNO and the government even during Badawi’s premiership and now under Najib.
The clout he held during his heyday was not used to build a solid political foundation, but instead allegedly used for grabbing as much money as he could.
The NFC debacle could have been avoided in the classic UMNO way by pulling some strings. He should have kept quiet and pretended not to know aything about the project.
At the very least, he should get his facts right and realize how serious the debacle was, since nowadays it would be an impossible task to keep things under the lid. He could have convinced Najib that whatever misgivings that the PM may have for him, Badawi, Shahrizat or even Muhyiddin, exposing the debacle just won’t worth it.
Instead Khairy tried to be a hero, explaining the complex NFC transactions on his own but on a piece-meal basis, so that each time more blunders were exposed which Khairy did not expect or anticipate.
Eventually due to his foolishness, even UMNO delegates at the party's recent annual assembly said they were 'fed-up' with the controversies of the top leaders. Pahang UMNO delegate Wan Amizan Wan Abdul Razak said that these made it difficult for the leaders at the division level to explain to the grass roots, many of whom felt uneasy about the widespread corruption allegations.
To date three UMNO strongmen have asked Shahrizat to resign namely Kinabatangan MP Bung Moktar, former premier Mahathir Mohamad, and lately Abdul Ghapur Salleh, the Kalabakan MP and the number will swell bigger.
Failed to convert his advantages well
In February this year during a two-hour talk event at Imperial College in London where Khairy was a guest speaker, he was said to have been "scintillating, stimulating and substantive" when asked about the political and voting trends and when the GE-13 should be held.
This shows that he does have access to inside information. To stay relevant, he should tap the advance information to plan for his own interest. But Khairy did not. He is not as shrewd a politician as he should be. This can be taken as a sign of his political demise or that he has actually given up trying.
Instead of finding ways to use his connections and informers for his own gain and development, he is without any proper direction in his actions. He makes stupid blunders, creates controversies or makes racists remarks that are unbecoming of an Oxford graduate. No wonder, the people ridicule him for being a hypocrite.
Bleak future ahead
Khairy should have associated or aligned himself with some team or camp with strong support within UMNO. He should stop trying to be his own man like Zulkifli Nordin and Hassan Ali. Khairy doesn’t have the ability, capacity, nor the potential and whatever opportunity he had has gone. Wasted!
The future for Khairy Jamaluddin is very bleak indeed. If he decides to end his own political career before GE-13, he will be doing a service for the rakyat (populace). Firstly, he will save the rakyat from his future blunders as he has created many in the past.
Khairy is also not fit to be the future prime minister as he has proved himself to be lacking in substance, outstanding traits, charisma and vision. He has failed to make the UMNO Youth wing relevant and powerful, with at least some bargaining power with the UMNO Supreme Council.
Sometimes, good looks, good physique, an Oxford degree, a charmed life and a famous father-in-law are not enough. To make it in politics, you require much more and sad to say, Khairy won't be able to tell us what these qualities are!