Khairy defies Dr M, says 1Malaysia not a failure

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid, Free Malaysia Today

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaludin today disagreed with former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, perhaps his number one enemy, that Najib’s 1Malaysia concept is a failure.

Mahathir had said that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak must clear the shrouds surrounding his 1Malaysia clarion call, saying the concept has not reached voters well and could be susceptible to manipulation by other races.

However Khairy reasoned that it would take longer for Najib’s one-year-old administration to dilute the idea among the electorate but contended that the all-encompassing idea has sat well with many, if not all, Malaysians.

The 1Malaysia idea, meant to unite and regain the nation’s moderate image after decades of racial politics have divided the nation, was introduced shortly after Najib took office on April 3 last year.

“No I don’t agree with him (Mahathir) because every government campaign needs constant and consistent messaging and communications to the public.

“But to say that the public do not understand it is incorrect,” he told a press conference at the party’s headquarters here.

Khairy, who is also the first-term Rembau MP and the son-in-law of former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, believed the 1Malaysia idea is comprehensive and that the voters can grasp the policies behind the idea.

Mahathir argued that the idea had failed to unite the country and came amid shocking revelation by an opinion poll centre that Najib’s 1Malaysia was considered to be a mere political gimmick by majority of the nation’s non-Malay electorate.

“I have spoken to the Chinese, the Malays, each person has different opinions and cannot be united. I feel that an explanation is needed,” Dr Mahathir had said, adding that the onus was on Najib to ensure that his 1 Malaysia is understood by all.