‘I know the Taliban and we won’t be like them,’ says KJ

Khairy Jamaluddin says he met Taliban leaders when he was a journalist in 1999.

SEREMBAN: Khairy Jamaluddin today said the alliance Umno has forged with PAS will never lead to Malaysia being run like the Taliban rule in Afghanistan should the opposition take over federal power.

The Umno Rembau MP said he knew the Taliban — the Sunni Islamic fundamentalist political and military organisation waging war in Afghanistan — as he had met their leaders when he was a journalist in 1999.

“I know the Taliban, not because I am a Taliban member but because in 1999, I worked as a journalist for a London-based magazine and was sent from London to Afghanistan during the Taliban rule.

“The way they rule is extreme. On Fridays, they show people’s hands being chopped off to teach them a lesson.

“Girls can’t even go to school. So, the Taliban rule is definitely extreme and it is not like here.

“It’s a world of a difference to compare them with us,” he said when campaigning for Barisan Nasional in the Rantau by-election.

Khairy criticised Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker Nga Kor Ming, who sparked the Taliban controversy by using the word to describe the Umno-PAS alliance, saying the country would be run like in Afghanistan.

In the Dewan Rakyat last week, when Nga asked Khairy to clarify a question, Khairy replied: “In conjunction with Rantau by-election. Do you have a comprehension problem, Taliban?”

Nga asked Khairy to retract the word, which he did. Outside Parliament, Nga said Khairy should apologise to Parliament for tarnishing its image.

“The position of a deputy speaker is noble, but (Nga) said the Umno-PAS alliance will be like the Taliban. He only said that because he wanted to spark disunity among the various races,” Khairy claimed today.

He also said BN must ensure that its candidate for the Rantau by-election, Mohamad Hasan, who is acting Umno president and former Negeri Sembilan menteri besar, retained the state seat to protect the integrity of the party and BN.

Describing Mohamad as one of BN’s top leaders, he said Pakatan Harapan was trying its best to defeat him.

He said this was evident when several of its top guns showed up during nominations yesterday morning.

In the by-election on April 13, Mohamad will take on PH’s Dr Streram Sinnasamy and two independents, Malar Rajaram and Mohd Nor Yassin, in a four-cornered contest.

Today is the second day of campaigning.