After reading my postings on the Mahathir-Abdullah tiff, reader "Tahirmas" suggested that there is a hidden agenda behind it. Being a staunch Umno supporter, Tahirmas is worried stiff that if unchecked, the tiff may lead to the split of the party worst than the power-struggle in mid-1980s. He also strongly believed that, somehow, Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi's son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin had a role to play.
As an Umno member Tahirmas should know that each and every Umno leader, be it at branch, division or higher levels, would like to be seen publicly as "close" to Khairy, it is to their political advantage. They would be happy to invite Khairy to officiate functions hosted by them, be it political, social or otherwise. Behind Khairy, it is the opposite.
I am not supporting Khairy but to blame him, who is as old as my first-born son, is unfair. At Tahirmas' suggestion, I managed to pick up from malaysia-today's "The Khairy Chronicles" to give some insight about him.
Khairy lives life under a microscope and the fascination people had about him means he is unable to make the slightest move without somebody, somewhere, reading into it and making interpretations about it. Often these interpretations are helpful but sometimes they may be very detrimental and negative to his image. Even the most innate praise heaped upon him by his admirers could be seen to have ulterior motives, which in turn generate nausea among the general public.
Yes, he has been cushioned from major attacks by his father-in-law (Abdullah Badawi) and has so far had a smooth ride. So have his friends who have been given the fast track to the higher reaches of government, politics and corporate world. They are leaders of an opportunistic band.
Some of Khairy's friends have been useful in giving him advice on how to spin an image, yet they themselves have had little experience in addressing the problem of how to maintain their image. Take for example former journalist and group editor-in-chief of the New Straits Times, Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan, who many believed, was trained by Singapore's Special Branch, who fancies himself as Khairy's mentor. He often tried to "sell" Khairy even when it is not necessary to do so. Almost inevitably every meeting with foreign journalists and government leaders, he mentions Khairy before mentioning Abdullah. As a result, people believe, rightly or wrongly, that Khairy, and not Abdullah, runs the government. Kalimullah does not help by putting Singapore Special Branch-trained sycophants in charge of NST and Berita Harian.
(Kalimullah failed his Security Vetting by the Malaysian Special Branch and was deemed not fit to serve as the Press Secretary to the then Deputy Prime Minister Ghafar Baba. Somehow, the same authority "cleared" him when Abdullah takes over the leadership from Dr Mahathir Mohamad. He was first appointed Chairman of Bernama, the government news agency, and later as group editor-in-chief of NST.
Today, Kalimullah is a multi-millionaire.)
One of Khairy's traits is to favour foreign journalists against local ones. Khairy is more comfortable in addressing the Singaporean, American and Australian journalists who in the past have been full praise for him. To them, Khairy spills more beans.
To me, Khairy's days are numbered. Abdullah Badawi in on his way out and without Abdullah, Khairy will be back as a "nobody" politically, economically as well as socially. That is the circle of life.