Khairy, Oh why Khairy?

By Douglas Tan

In less than 140 characters, Khairy Jamaluddin may have just destroyed his and UMNO’s chances of swaying fence sitters and Malay moderates from supporting Barisan Nasional at the next General Election.

He has committed the cardinal sin of politics by picking on not his political opponent, but his son. A mere school boy, what could Lim Junior have possibly done to deserve such slander? Lim Guan Eng and Lim Kit Siang have every right to be outraged at this despicable behaviour.

It is one thing to have pro-UMNO bloggers spreading lies and slander over the Internet. That only reaches a limited audience. Politician expect to face criticism on a daily basis. In fact one would argue that criticism could make one stronger.

 However, to level a blow on a 16-year old boy, this is no longer fair game. No one would ever tolerate attacks on a person’s child, whether in government and opposition. When an opposition member condemns the child of a member of the ruling party, when that child is in no position to defend his or herself, it should be roundly condemned. It holds true the other way round.

Right now, Khairy Jamaluddin finds himself in a precarious position. As UMNO Youth chief, he has painted an image that he is a moderate and an agent for change within a party which has lost their core values in their quest to retain power.

He is a young, highly educated and well spoken leader, representing the next generation of politicians in this country. We also know he is a loving father with two sons which he dotes upon. Imagine if one of his sons was in Lim Junior’s position. Wouldn’t he be outraged? We would be appalled if he was not.

Why one earth then did he decide to add fuel to fire with his two tweets, the first one yesterday where he said in response to another tweet by pro-Umno blogger “@PapaGomo” translated to “Maybe he destroyed Kampung Buah Pala because he wants to replace it with Kampung Buah Dada”, which can be construed as a direct attack on Lim Junior.

Despite clarifications that the girl in question was not even in the same class as Lim Junior, Khairy was relentless. In his response to calls to apologise, he defended his comments tweeting “Bro, what BN leaders & their families get from the opposition is far worse. Don’t be hypocritical” replying to Liew Chin Tong and Satees Muniady. I actually replied, via @douglast86 “because BN leaders feel aggrieved of past attacks they can justify an attack on LGE son?”