FORMER health minister Khairy Jamaluddin who was sacked by UMNO a few days back is now in a dilemma about his political future.
He has stated that he is not going to appeal against his dismissal. He has also commented about his plans of standing for the state assembly elections in Selangor, which he now calls home after his exit from Rembau, Negri Sembilan.
He has rightly stated that Selangor, the most populous, developed and resourceful state in the country is the epicentre of national politics.
His electoral foray in the Sungai Buloh parliamentary seat has made him realise the importance of Selangor, which he intends to use as the launchpad for his political ambition in aspiring to be a future prime minister of the country.
Without a party Khairy will be helpless and will not be able to do well in the impending Selangor state election, which is expected to be held after Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
Even though Khairy has made it known that he will support Anwar and his unity government, there are some serious impediments to becoming a member of PKR or Pakatan Harapan (PH).
Zahid is the lynchpin of the unity government and Anwar will definitely have to listen to his opinion as otherwise it will rock the boat and endanger his government.
Most probably, despite Khairy’s show of support, Anwar will turn down his request to be a member of the PH parties and that includes all those sacked from UMNO recently.
The next option will be for Khairy to team up with PH especially Bersatu, which is a more liberal party than PAS, whose fundamental Islamic policies he may not fully support.
Bersatu needs to open its doors to not only Khairy but to Tan Sri Noh Omar, Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin and others and offer them state seats to contest in Selangor.
An exco position in Selangor, a first-world state, is equal to that of a cabinet minister. With all these ex-Cabinet ministers in Bersatu the chances of Perikatan Nasional (PN) wresting Selangor from PH will be bright.
A recent survey revealed that only the overwhelmingly Chinese-dominated state constituencies are safe for PH, and that for the others especially the mixed constituencies it could turn out to be either way.
As it is the Selangor government administration is mired with problems ranging from environmental to municipal issues, and many supporters who voted for PH in the last three election have become disillusioned and disheartened.
They may think twice whether they still need to support a PH government, which initially promised to be an exemplary one but turned out to be otherwise.
UMNO is weak and may not fare well even in the Malay majority areas in the outlying districts of Selangor, and will not be able to help PH to secure Selangor.
Khairy is already well known in the Sungai Buloh parliamentary constituency, which has two state seats namely Kota Damansara which is mainly urban, and Paya Jaras which is suburban. Both the seats will be a fitting choice for a development-oriented politician like Khairy.
Khairy is already well known in both constituencies and made Sungai Buloh even more popular nationwide when he was “exiled” and he chose to contest for the “no other choice” parliamentary seat.
He lost the election narrowly and it can be attributed to the fact that he did not have big time party support and also due to the loss of support of the Malays for UMNO.
This was clearly-proven by the party’s drubbing in GE15 at the hands of PN. The winner R. Ramanan – although not as well known as Khairy –was able to get the full support of the PH party members who went all out to secure his maiden electoral victory.
Khairy can rely on this newly-built-up support in the two state constituencies should he decide to stand for a state seat.
He can re-build a bright political future using Selangor as his new base. Malaysian politics is in a flux right now and making a decision needs to be carefully considered.
However, when all doors appear to be shut and only PN is bidding you a warm welcome, the decision-making becomes easier.
Anyway, those in the PN leadership are your ex-ministerial colleagues in the previous government with whom you have a good rapport and can establish a binding relationship to fulfil your ambition. – Feb 1, 2023
Thomas is a Focus Malaysia viewer.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.
Main pic credit: The Star