KUALA LUMPUR: Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin (pic) has the potential to be the next deputy prime minister should Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak decide to step down before the 14th general election (GE), a veteran journalist said.
In his latest blog posting yesterday, Datuk A Kadir Jasin said this could only happen if the prime minister’s post was held by his cousin Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, who is the defence minister.
“If it is fated that Najib has to step down before the next general election and the current Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has no interest in the top post, then the PM post will go to Hishammuddin.
“In this situation, Khairy will have the potential to become his deputy,” he said.
Kadir said nothing was impossible in politics and that looking at the current political scenario and leadership, Umno would have to position Khairy in an important spot.
“Like it or not, at this very juncture, Khairy is the only one who stands out among the ranks of Umno’s young leaders. Unless we can find, in the near future, someone who is more charismatic, eloquent and intelligent,” he said in his blog post titled, “Leadership Issue: About Khairy Jamaluddin” yesterday.
“Everyone knows he sends his children to a national school when many of Umno’s top men and even ministers discreetly send their children to elite private schools. He is part of the territorial army regiment,” said Kadir.
Pointing out he is not Khairy’s supporter, Kadir said he made the conclusion based on his own observation of the minister’s political career and also the rise and fall of Umno Youth chiefs since 1969.
Kadir said after Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi stepped down as prime minister and Umno president following the poor GE12 results, Khairy should have fallen through.
But instead of falling into political oblivion, he went on to win the Youth chief post, defeating Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo and Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir. — The Malaysian Insider
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 14, 2014.