Thursday, February 12, 2009

Khairy rides high on current issues - Malaysiakini


By Zainal Epi, Malay Mail - 12 February 2009 (Afternoon issue)

The next few weeks leading up to the Umno polls are going to be extra crucial for candidates eyeing positions in the party.

The UMNO Youth wing is no exception, with delegates closely monitoring the movements of the three aspirants - the movement’s deputy president Khairy Jamaluddin, Jerlun MP Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir and former Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo.

Khairy, who had come under severe criticism after the March political tsunami, is on the upswing, with members generally seeing him in a good light, having performed well by riding on current issues.

A Youth delegate said Khariy was again in the thick of action in dealing with DAP Chairman Karpal Singh’s debacle.

“Khairy is very aggressive, demanding Karpal to apologise for his threats to sue the Perak Sultan. He has led the UMNO Youth movement’s stand to demonstrate outside the lawyer’s office everyday until he apologises to Sultan Azlan Shah.”

The delegates said Khairy was seen as a “brave, young leader” with the courage to lead the movement from the front in line with calls for the movement to revert to being a pressure group for its main body.

Several other delegates said Khairy’s performance during the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election and the current Perak political situation has endeared him to a number of Youth members who feel that they need a leader who can lead them without fear or favour.

Theu said Khairy’s seemed to have stolen the thunder from Mukhriz’s slogan of “courage to change”.

“He comes out with guns blazing in confronting, issues that affect the Malays and UMNO, something the movement has not seen for a long time,” a delegate said.

However, they said delegates were also looking for substances, and not just actions.

“I am still scrutinising the performances of the three aspirants although I have promised one of them my vote. I may change accordingly depending on the scenario and how the three react to issues,” said another delegate.

Several youth delegates said they would be in the up coming by-election venues to see how the three aspirants perform although these might not be the yardstick to gauge them.

One delegate said the reality is many or more than half of the 700-odd delegates had already made up their minds.

“What is left now is we may just change our minds if any of them does something stupid,” he said, without elaborating.

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