“(Umno’s reform) means getting rid of the power and control mindset…It means empowering the rakyat and not feeling scared that this empowerment will come back and haunt you because if you govern well, the rakyat will not punish you.”
Khairy Jamaluddin, Umno Youth chief aspirant and Rembau Member of Parliament. He talked about the need for Umno to change. (Source: Time for a makeover, Off The Edge, Jan 2009)
“…diminished strength defined by control will be more than offset by the strength defined by credibility that you will get from the rakyat who are crying out for such reforms.”
Khairy in the same interview with Off The Edge.
The re-branding exercise Khairy recommends for the Barisan Nasional (BN) is one that he has embarked on, himself. Since March 2008, he has played the part of a reformer, expressing support for things like press liberalisation and a stop to “blatant and crude” application of state power.
“I personally have written and spoken about party-hopping being unethical, and I would hold that line. But when there’s no legislation preventing it from happening, you can say it’s unethical but you can’t stop it from happening.”
Khairy again, when quizzed about the party-hopping of state assemblypersons in Perak that led to the state’s current political crisis. While he was against party-hopping, he also said that it was very difficult for BN leaders to resist the temptation, “especially when we didn’t start it.” (Source: Defections unethical, says Khairy, The Nut Graph, 3 Feb 2009)
“In the old day, what did we do to those who committed treason? We only ask that they be banished.
“If you see the illegal government coming (to enter the state secretariat in Ipoh), I order you as deputy Youth chief to do what is necessary.”
Khairy, in Ipoh, leading a demonstration against Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, who refused a royal order that he resign as menteri besar after the BN take-over of Perak following party defections and resignations. The crowd branded Nizar a traitor, and calls for the PAS politician to be killed were heard (Source: Khairy calls for Nizar to be banished, The Malaysian Insider, 10 Feb 2009)
Analysis by The Malaysian Insider thanked Khairy for the “timely reminder to Malaysians that when Umno/BN has the upper hand, they tend to trade in humility, grace and wisdom for arrogance.”