Imran Imtiaz Shah Yacob
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
"Character assassination is at once easier and surer than physical assault; and it involves far less risk for the assassin. It leaves him free to commit the same deed over and over again, and may, indeed, win him the honors of a hero in the country of his victims".- Alan Barth (The Loyalty of Free Men,1951).
Mukhriz Mahathir has really had to fight for every inch in his political ascent against the powers that be. Once, a rather obscure political figure in Umno Youth he has risen against the odds stacked up to thwart his political agenda.
The dawn of Abdullah Badawi's now doomed administration set the tone for what Mukhriz has had to endure heretofore. For starters, Mukhriz had to plead with the all-powerful Khairy Jamaluddin to reinstate a signed and sealed contract to Opcom Holdings Bhd. Mukhriz was reduced to begging for his rice bowl to be returned to him.
Many people had written off Mukhriz as having no future in Umno as the Prime Minister's son in law had already usurped the position of Naib Ketua Pemuda Umno uncontested by way of political pressure and clout exerted from the office of the presently outgoing Ketua Pemuda Umno. Umno hopefuls and ordinary members were cowed into acceding that Khairy Jamaluddin-an unknown individual of only 28 years of age, to helm the second highest position in Umno Youth.
Mukhriz was effectively sidelined and relegated to political obscurity. While 'KJ' enjoyed the political patronage that guaranteed his meteoric rise, Mukhriz was continuously thumped down. Things got much worse when Mukhriz stood up against the Prime Minister and demanded his resignation.
Until now, the attempts to destroy Mukhriz are in overdrive. With the highest nominations and strong support from Umno grassroots members whom are disenchanted with the failures of Abdullah Badawi and "KJ"-Mukhriz has emerged as a political figure fit for the times.
Everybody knows Mukhriz to be a clean, level-headed, approachable and wise leader. Yet the political manipulation to tarnish his reputation and deny his views from being heard is in play. Mukhriz's Berani Berubah! campaign which was a festive affair with over 500 grassroots members and many Ketua Pemudas in attendance was hardly seen in the local broadsheets despite hoards of journalists who were present at the event. KJ's, on the other hand that was attended by a small handful of nominal Umno officials was highlighted in bold with the benefit of generous pictures.
Most of the time, Mukhriz's statements, which are courted by journalists, are not published. His website Mukhriz.com was reported by Malaysiakini (Top Blogs) to be under virus attack and had to be shut down temporarily despite the site being fitted with the latest protection. Furthermore, in a three hour long interview with The Star newspaper that covered every important issue that is of concern to Malaysians, it was surprising to say the least that the published interview was eventually framed in a manner that depicts Mukhriz to be involved in buying votes ("Mukhriz throws down the gauntlet at his accusers to prove money politics", November 8, 2008). In fact on the Umno battlefield and through the grapevine the word was out that Mukhriz is a clean candidate and exactly what Umno needs at this critical time.
Thus, the opening sentence of the interview that reads "BESIEGED by claims that he is not walking his talk on the issue of money politics ..." is nothing further from the truth. One cannot help but wonder why the interview was slanted in this way. Now, in what seems like coordinated attacks to damage Mukhriz's credibility - opposing blogs and agents in the field are hoping to damage this leading candidate in the lead up to the long delayed Umno elections.
The character assassination of Mukhriz Mahathir has just begun. Every attempt will be made to deny the voice of the grassroots and kill off Mukhriz Mahathir's agenda to reform and rejuvenate Umno.
The Character Assassination of Mukhriz Mahathir has begun
Malaysia Today, Malaysia