PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s struggle to gain Malay support stems more from the community’s discontent with his administration’s lack of economic direction than a “green wave” brought by Perikatan Nasional, says Khairy Jamaluddin.
“What is happening in Malaysia today is less of the rise of an extremist ‘green wave’ than the expression of genuine discontent in the Malay community that goes beyond the 3R (race, religion and royalty) issues,” Khairy said in an article on Singaporean portal Fulcrum.
Fulcrum is a portal of the think tank ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, of which Khairy is a visiting senior fellow.
He said that over the last seven months, there has been a “clear lack of economic direction”, adding that the ringgit continues to weaken, and the cost of living crisis continues to erode the people’s purchasing power.
“This palpable Malay anger is amplified by the perceived hypocrisy of the present administration, which talks about eradicating corruption and upholding good governance, but accommodates a tainted Umno leadership,” he said.
He was referring to Anwar’s unpopular decision in appointing Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as one of his deputy prime ministers.
Zahid is facing 47 counts of money laundering and criminal breach of trust charges involving millions of ringgit from Yayasan Akalbudi, and also for allegedly accepting bribes for various projects during his tenure as the home minister between 2013 and 2018.
“What we may see at the state polls is less (of) a ‘green wave’ than a tsunami of discontent,” said Khairy, the former Umno Youth chief.
On May 17, Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin had publicly offered Khairy a spot in the party’s Supreme Council, stating that he believed Khairy could contribute a lot to the party.
Khairy said he needed time to consider his political future.
Khairy was among those who were expelled or suspended from Umno earlier this year for breaching party discipline after last year’s general election (GE15).
Yesterday, a photograph of Khairy and Muhyiddin standing next to each other after a meeting fuelled talk that the former Rembau MP would be joining Bersatu.
Khairy’s decision on whether he is joining Bersatu remains unknown.