LETTER | Indeed the one photo that beamed a powerful message across the nation on the first and historic day at the new Dewan Rakyat session yesterday was that of the former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.
Seated all alone after a walkout by his fellow BN MPs, KJ's body language and expression said it all. Here was a politician who spoke too late and had acted with excuses.
When the first-time ever opposition MPs of BN walked out to register their protest over the appointment of the incoming speaker, KJ saw otherwise. He stood his ground. He let logic and reason prevail.
Only to find that he was the odd figure from the pack willing to take a stand even when the entire crew thought otherwise.
On the one hand, it carves a loud message that KJ is a politician with a conviction. He bends not along with the winds.
But unfortunately, KJ had to pay a big price not because he is the lone, odd man in the pack, courageous enough to operate by convictions and reason.
On the contrary, it is an attestation of his decisions made too late and actions dismissed too early. He has missed all the opportunities that a national crisis offered.
There was a time when he could have had the courage and conviction to stand up and question the 1MDB saga turned scandal and the global heist.
There was also a time when he could have announced his wisdom, demonstrated his courage and taken the stride forward with all those politicians who saw, smelt and heard of or even tasted the spillovers of the 1MDB quagmire.
But he did not. Rightly he had to admit too late – far too late in the day, that he regretted not telling the truth to his boss about the realities of the day in the months and years gone by before the 14th general election.
Today, as Umno and BN are finally conquered and made to sit on the opposition side of the august House, KJ discovers that he has to finally cut a figure of himself all alone in order to remain courageously relevant.
Here is a poignant and valuable lesson for all politicians today. Your precipitate value is not provided under the insurance coverage of your political party. Loyalty is not the guarantee for political crowing. Courage is. Truth is. Convictions and values are the passports.
Politicians must learn that living, serving and journeying on a political ticket must be paid with the assets of your principles, convictions and courage – not money, seed capital, branded items and lifestyle flashing.
Being able to stand up, speak up and be heard on a timely basis even when you know you will be cast out is what earns you political mileage.
For a promising young politician who had the advantage of starting right on the political track, today KJ faces an almost impossible if not a steeply uphill challenge in trying to redeem his badge of earlier reputation. That is very painful indeed.
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