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If the Prime Minister does not exercise check and discipline of his son-in-law, Khairy will be the cause of the downfall of the Abdullah premiership

by Lim Kit Siang  


(Ipoh, Thursday) :  The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has said that Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew’s  comment about the “marginalization” of the Chinese in Malaysia is hurtful and could have incited the people, but he has nothing to say about Umno Youth deputy leader, Khairy Jamaluddin’s earlier statement about the “marginalization” of the Malays in Penang and facing the “same fate of being marginalized” as the Malays in Singapore.


If the Malays in Penang have been marginalized, who must bear the responsibility?  For the past 13 years since 1993, the No. 1 or No. 2 in the Federal Government had come from the topmost Umno leader in Penang – starting with Anwar Ibrahim as Deputy Prime Minister in 1993, then Abdullah as DPM after Anwar was victimized and expelled from Umno in 1998, and from October 2003 with Abdullah as Prime Minister.  If the Malays in Penang are marginalized after 13 years having the topmost Umno leader in Penang as Deputy Prime Minister or Prime Minister, shouldn’t  Umno bear the biggest responsibility?


Two days ago, Malaysians were provided with the latest and most concrete proof of the terminal  stage of marginalization of the MCA Youth and Gerakan Youth in the Barisan Nasional.


This was  the farce and letdown of the BN  Youth Council meeting where Khairy emerged in triumph while MCA Youth and Gerakan Youth leaders had to grovel at the subsequent media conference conducted by the Umno Youth leader, Datuk Seri Hishammudin Hussein, who behaved more as “boss” than equal to the MCA Youth and Gerakan Youth leaders, with the latter two having to admit that  Khairy had been “misinterpreted” and even making the public commitment to go to their ground to explain and defend Khairy’s statement – totally disregarding the unanimous and uncompromising denunciations by  earlier MCA Youth and Gerakan Youth general assemblies  of Khairy’s provocative statements about “racial zero-sum game” and demands for an apology.


Twenty-four hours, later, the MCA Youth leader Datuk Liow Tiong Lai had to present a tougher line by  publicly asking Khairy to prove he has no intention of hurting the feelings of the Chinese community when he found himself the object of ridicule and  derision not only among the general public, but also among MCA and MCA Youth members – although it was all too late, having missed the boat in faithfully and fearlessly conveying the demands of the MCA Youth General Assembly to demand apology and retraction from Khairy.


One Chinese newspaper commentator  had  said Khairy is destroying his own political future in adopting his truculent, arrogant and communal stance.


Khairy would not agree that he is destroying his own political future but sees himself as following notorious  examples of  carving out the well-trodden  path to the political summit  by assuming the mantle as  the  leading  ultra in the country and  shamelessly playing the race card to become  the Malay communal hero.


However, more important and pertinent than whether Khairy would be destroying his political future is the harm he is doing to multi-racial Malaysia celebrating 50th anniversary of nationhood next year and  facing the  relentless challenges of international competition threatening to marginalize Malaysia in the global economy.


Abdullah declared  in Havana two weeks ago that “I am in control” in response to  criticism that he had lost control of his administration.


When a Prime Minister felt compelled to declare “I am in control”  after almost three years of office, something must be  very radically wrong.


In any event, to demonstrate that he is indeed “in control”, Abdullah should exercise “control” over his  son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin, who is undoubtedly the most influential and powerful person “behind the throne”, even overshadowing the Umno Youth leader and Education Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein although he is only Umno Youth deputy leader.


If the Prime Minister  does not exercise check and discipline of his son-in-law, Khairy will be the cause of  the downfall of the Abdullah premiership



*  Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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