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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Why Khairy’s election analysis is worrying

APRIL 28 — Yesterday, an article by Khairy Jamaludin (Thoughts on Hulu Selangor) setting out his thoughts on the recent by-election was posted in The Malaysian Insider.

It left me tickled, not just by the inclusion of the traditional words of thanks offered to the Umno big-wigs for their contribution to the campaign (so old school!), but by his attempt to present a well-argued analysis of what the results mean.
I am tickled because I think that such an article is audacious, given the readership ofThe Malaysian Insider, and yet I am worried because it tells me a lot about Khairy and his journey in politics, and I hate to see good talent go to waste.
The analysis he makes, based on extrapolating what the statistics means, fails to address key questions which are on the minds of most right-thinking Malaysians.
And that is this: To what extent did underhanded campaign tactics by way of character assassination of the PKR candidate, and wrongful use of tax-payers money to provide incentives to the constituents of Hulu Selangor to vote BN help secure the victory?
The answer is obvious. The low-blow character assassination campaign was carried out with no shame nor remorse, in total public glare. The same is true of the efforts to hand out presents worth many millions of ringgit, all of which is money held in trust by the Federal Government on behalf of all taxpayers, but given away by the Barisan Nasional (BN) machinery, as though it was theirs to give. Without the use of these tactics, Barisan would have lost.
Does the BN machinery not understand honour and dignity? Does it not understand why conflicts of interest must be managed to safeguard the interests of the people. Does it not understand the fiduciary duty of government to the Malaysian citizenry. Does it not understand how propaganda poison retards the development of society, especially the Malays? And where does Khairy stand on all of this?
Everybody is focussing on the fact that the Chinese did not vote BN, unlike the Malays and Indians. The Hulu Selangor victory is not about a BN campaign that succeeded because it offered answers to the concerns of the Indians and Malays, whilst leaving out the Chinese. It is all about deploying thuggish tactics at all costs, regardless of the morality of such tactic, to hit at the weakness of each community,  where the most gain can be made. It’s as simple as that. Surely it would have been better for BN to fight a fair fight and lose with honour than to win this way?
But why is this analysis worrying? Because Khairy remains a talent to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, he is a part of a virtual machinery that will ultimately destroy his talent and whatever remaining goodwill he has with the people. Perhaps he hopes to succeed in changing this machinery from the inside; so he has told us.
My fear is that he will fail, and it will be he who will become the victim, and not the victor.


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