Two whole days have passed by; so many still quiz amongst themselves “Who the hell is she?”. Despite her baseless scathing ambush towards Dato’ Paduka Mukhriz Mahathir which was published by NST on the day after Hari Raya Haji and made so many perturbed, the smiley Menteri Besar Kedah demonstrated his kindness as reaction towards her.
18 October 2013| last updated at 12:24AM
Mukhriz takes veteran’s ‘advice’ in strideBy A. AZIM IDRIS | firstname.lastname@example.org
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VICE-PRESIDENT CONTEST: He says he has the credentials after working his way up from bottom
PUTRAJAYA: DATUK Mukhriz Mahathir said yesterday he was not offended by Umno veteran Datuk Rahmah Abdul Hamid’s criticism on his decision to contest for the vice-president post.
Addressing Rahmah, 81, as “aunty”, Mukhriz said he respected her opinion about his candidature.
Rahmah, who is the mother of Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, had on Tuesday expressed disappointment at Mukhriz’s decision to contest.
Her remarks had become a hot topic of discussion in cyberspace, with many criticising her for not being fair to Mukhriz. However, the Kedah menteri besar insisted that he was not at all offended and accepted Rahmah’s perspective because he had known her well at a personal level.
“Well, I respect her for her opinion because I have known Aunty Rahmah for a long time.
“When I was studying in Japan for five years, she had helped me and hosted me at her home many times. So I have nothing but the upmost respect for her,” he said after holding a closed-door meeting with Selangor Umno delegates at a hotel near here yesterday.
Rahmah’s late husband, Datuk Jamaluddin Abu Bakar, was a diplomat.
Mukhriz, nonetheless, said he believed that contrary to Rahmah’s opinion, he did possess the credentials to be an Umno vice-president.
“I think I did go through the whole process as I started as deputy branch chief in Jitra, Kedah, and tried my best to win the Umno youth chief post in Kubang Pasu, which I lost.
“But then, I became an Umno Youth executive committee member with the highest votes before offering myself for the Youth chief position, which I also lost.”
Mukhriz, who is the youngest son of former Umno president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said his active participation in the party was only noticed in the past decade because his father had disallowed his children from being involved in the party while he was helming it.
“My brother Mokhzani and I found ourselves unable to work our way through the party ranks when our father was president of Umno. So, I guess it is not really my fault. But I accept her (Rahmah’s) criticism well and will try my best to improve from there on.”
Rahmah Abdul Hamid clearly gave her views without having due thought through process and proper referencing because Mukhriz in a short puff of breadth standing after the ‘Meet the Delegates’ event in Putrajaya yesterday, shot her points down gently and politely for the gross inaccuracy.
In August 2004, Mukhriz was voted as UMNO Youth Exco with the highest votes. As an UMNO Youth Exco, BN featured him as the candidate for PAS controlled Jerlun Parliamentary seat in 8 March 2008 12GE and won, with an increased majority.
In March 2009, he lost his bid for UMNO Youth Chief post in a three cornered fight against then UMNO Youth Vice Chief Khairy Jamaluddin and former MB Selangor Dato’ Seri Dr Mohd. Khir Toyo. Despite failure to succeed in the contest, a few weeks later he was lined up as Deputy Minister of MITI in Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s first Cabinet.
In the recently concluded 13GE, again Mukhriz was put against another test when he opted to contest in the Air Hitam DUN seat where PAS won in the 12GE instead for a ‘sfaer seat’. This is despite the fact that Prime Minister Najib already sounded out to him that he is supposed to lead the BN charge in Kedah and if they succeed, he is the Prime Minister’s choice for the Menteri Besar.
Mukhriz lead a very successful campaign in Kedah. Not only BN wrested the Kedah State Government from PAS, BN Kedah’s contribution to the Dewan Rakyat increased by 150% from 4 in 12GE to 10 in 13GE. In reality, UMNO Kedah helped to strengthen UMNO’s standing when the State Liaison contributed 60% of the increased 10 UMNO seats in Dewan Rakyat.
Rahmah actually contradicted herself when he was quoted by NST by saying “Umno works religiously from ground to the top and if you have not spent time building the party or being a coolie, then you will not understand the sentiments of party members”.
The fact that it is her son Khairy Jamaluddin who did not work his way up through party vines. When Khairy was brought into UMNO Youth Education Bureau in 2000, he was given the leg up and made the secretary not because he qualified or had the relevant experience but he was then Special Officer to Deputy Prime Minister in Home Ministry.
When Khairy wanted to challenge for the UMNO Youth Vice Chief post in 2004, the powers that be then manipulated their way to ensure that high potential competitors such as then MT UMNO members Dato’ Azimi Daim and Dato’ Mohd. Norza last minute withdrew from the race.
Mukhriz in his own right and limited space, time and resources already proven himself to be a strategic leader and achieved way above average results. His stance, strategic plan and role in Prime Minister Najib’s ‘Transformation Agenda’ is also very clear.
It is time for the 146,500 UMNO delegates to decide. Probably it is worthy to consider Mukhriz for the strategic post of UMNO Vice President based on the principles and value system that he upholds, achievements and strategic plans. Lets not deny the fact that he is also very popular amongst the Non UMNO folks too. After all, they make up for the mandate which UMNO enjoyed since 1955.