As the second generation of UMNO leaders, Hishamuddin Hussein and Mukhriz Mahathir qualified for the party election, the existing Prime Minister’s son-in-law has yet to follow suit.

Khairy Jamaluddin, once dubbed the golden boy of UMNO, is facing a different tune.

“He will make it, but it is tough to be in his shoes nowadays,” said a long time supporter of the UMNO vice-chief.

Khairy, or popularly known as KJ said the supporter, is being blamed for all the problems and the not-so-right decision made by his father-in-law.

“This is not fair. But how can he counter these allegations without putting his father-in-law in a bad light,” he added.

A political secretary, commenting on the nomination trend in the youth movement, said that Mukhriz was nominated not due to him as a person but as an alternative to the present leadership.

“He is nominated and chosen due to the wish of UMNO Youth members who wanted change. Mukhriz is there at the right place and at the right time,” he added.

The question now is will KJ pull out from the race if the number of his nominations is far behind compared to Mukhriz?

“Mukhriz and KJ has this bad blood between them. It is a proxy fight – Abdullah (Ahmad Badawi) and Dr Mahathir (Mohamad). And I don’t think that KJ will back out as he has too much to lose,” said a political observer.

He believed it would be a do-or-die battle for KJ, and the UMNO Youth vice-chief would take all the necessary moves to ensure he has the sufficient number of nominations to contest.

“The second phase, the voting, will be a different scenario,” he added.

On Khir Toyo, many believed that the former Selangor Mentri Besar had made the wrong decision in contesting for the Youth top post.

“If he stick with the supreme council member he can easily win. But to contest for the chief post is a mistake, as he had lost a rich state to the opposition,” said the political observer.

He said Khir’s decision to relinquish the Selangor UMNO liaison committee chairman is seen has admittance of guilt and that would be used in campaign against him.

The fourth candidate, Zahidi Zainul Abidin, who had received a single nomination has yet to make any impact.

“He is acting out of spite nothing more and nothing less,” he added. – OCT 14, 2008