An Umno division leader has censured the party's former Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin after Khairy blamed 1MDB for BN's defeat in the last general election.
Turning the clock back to before the 2008 general election, Mohd Puad Zarkashi said the decline started from the time when Khairy's father-in-law Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was prime minister.
During that period, Khairy spearheaded a team of advisors to the prime minister, who were referred to as the “fourth-floor boys”.
Puad said stories of how these advisors controlled the Prime Minister's Office had become campaign fodder for the opposition and Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Mahathir had handpicked Abdullah, who is also known as Pak Lah, as his successor after he stepped down in 2003. However, following a fallout, Mahathir launched a series of scathing attacks on Abdullah and this intensified after the 2008 general election, forcing Abdullah to relinquish his post.
Puad, who heads the Batu Pahat Umno division, asked Khairy if he was prepared to accept that BN's downfall began during Abdullah's tenure, or if he would dismiss this as perception.
“... But it is the reality. Stories of how the fourth-floor boys controlled the Prime Minister's Office had become campaign fodder to topple Abdullah.
“Hopefully, Khairy does not practice 'denial syndrome'. The tale of the fourth-floor boys was campaign material for Tun M (Mahathir) to bring down Pak Lah, but it had adverse implications for Umno,” Puad added in a statement.
KJ an ‘asset to Mahathir’
In blaming 1MDB for BN’s fall in the 14th general election (GE14), Puad said Khairy was indirectly pointing the finger at former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.
This, as well as other instances, allegedly showed that the Rembau MP was not a team player in the party.
“To Khairy, it (BN's loss in GE14) was an individual mistake, not a collective mistake. This shows Khairy truly does not have a spirit of collective responsibility.
“This is also why when all BN MPs left the Dewan Rakyat in protest of the appointment of the speaker (Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof), he had remained firmly seated in his chair,” Puad said.
He also criticised Khairy for practising “populist” politics, which was irrelevant to Umno at a time when the party needed team spirit, a sense of collective responsibility and obedience to its leaders.
In his final stab at Khairy, Puad alleged that the former had now become an “asset” not only to the Pakatan Harapan government but also to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“Is Khairy ready to be tested the same way Najib has been with 38 charges against him and more?
“Though Khairy need not worry, he is no longer a threat to Mahathir. He has become an asset,” Puad wrote.