Khairy wants Umno Youth to embrace new brand of progressive politics

(The Star) – Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin rallied the wing to embrace a new brand of “progressive” politics that emphasises greater inclusiveness by reaching out to all Malaysians.

He said Umno Youth must preserve its core struggle to protect the interests of Islam, Malays and the country besides reaching out to others who did not support Barisan Nasional, regardless of race and religion.

He said that defending the movement’s core struggles while reaching out to other Malaysians were not mutually exclusive goals.

“Our new brand of politics does not mean that we have disregarded our principles. We have to be brave enough to change our approach and methods of engagement without forgetting the original purpose of our struggle,” he said.

Since taking over as the movement’s chief in 2009, Khairy has championed the new “progressive” approach by getting Umno Youth to organise programmes that offer practical solutions to the bread-and-butter concerns of Malaysian youths.

“We embraced this platform of progressiveness as it is futile to rally behind ‘Hidup Melayu’ if we cannot advance our community.

“It is without question that the results and the effectiveness of our programmes are more important than sloganeering for the sake of it,” he said.

Khairy said Umno Youth’s outreach programmes benefited all, but did not sideline the bumiputra community which is its core audience.

Citing examples, he said a majority of the 160,000 who got jobs through the movement’s job fairs and some 500,000 who will benefit from the Bantuan Lesen 1Malaysia (BL1M), were Malays.

On another matter, Khairy took to task non-Bumiputra companies that discriminated against bumiputras by way of wages and the opportunities to be promoted to the top ranks.

He also blasted the Selangor government over its pay rise for key officials, saying State Legislative Assembly Speaker Hannah Yeoh now earned about RM9,000 daily when the assembly sat.

He said that while the state government led by Pakatan Rakyat had once extolled the virtues of having the most fiscally prudent and moral state administration, they were now acting to the contrary.