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Politics

Former Malaysia health minister Khairy Jamaluddin ‘thinking about’ running for UMNO presidency

RECLAIMING THE MALAY VOTE

In his speech at the forum, Mr Khairy also touched on how UMNO could be outflanked by the opposition PN, citing preliminary analyses of the GE15 results and a shift in the Malay vote.

He said 54 per cent of the Malay vote went to PN, 33 per cent went to BN, while 11 per cent to 20 per cent went to PH.

“The implication and one that is very serious, and one that is very urgent, is the fact that you have a 74-member bloc in opposition which is almost homogenous Malay-Muslim,” he said.

“That means in opposition, it’s clearer in what they will appeal to. They have no pretenses about trying to bring together disparate ideologies, ethnicities, demographic groups into a coalition.

“They can just go for identity politics, they can just go for ethnicity and racial issues without any concern because it is a homogenous opposition bloc. And that will fracture, and can fracture, the country even more,” said Mr Khairy.

He said the Anwar-led government, however, has in three ways tried to prevent further loss of support from the Malay community.

Mr Khairy noted that Mr Anwar has burnished his Malay-Muslim credentials by reaching out to Malay-Muslim international leaders and meeting Malay-Muslim intellectuals, while also asking the Democratic Action Party, a PH component party perceived as anti-Malay, to take a less prominent role in the government.

“And third, of course, is attacking PAS and Bersatu, and this will be done politically and also non-politically through other means, to ensure that the credibility of these parties are eroded,” Mr  Khairy said.

The former UMNO Youth chief, however, said his party must also not shy away from using the race and religion card in politics to some extent, and debate the issue on its own terms.

“Because if you don’t do it, someone else is going to do it in much, much more nefarious ways. And in Malaysia, whether you like it or not, identity politics is still here. And here to stay for a while,” he added.

Source By https://www.channelnewsasia.com/asia/khairy-jamaluddin-umno-presidency-party-polls-3195636