Seriously? I've been asked about veteran journo A Kadir Jasin's Monday blog posting Isu Kepimpinan: Memperkatakan Khairy Jamaluddin (read also Khairy can be next DPM if Najib steps down before GE14, says veteran journo).
"Is he supporting KJ and Najib now?"
I tell them it is quite clear (at least to me) that that is not the case. In fact, I sense that Kadir (or AKJ as we reporters called him back in NSTP) doesn't seem to relish at all the prospect of KJ, the former Prime Minister's son-in-law, becoming DPM. But like it or not, AKJ says KJ has cleverly positioned himself as a frontrunner for the position. I don't even think Kadir is crediting Najib for Khairy's rise; on the contrary, it sounds to me like he's blaming Najib for it. You must know that Kadir is still qutie close to former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, whose son Mukhriz Mahathir is Kedah Menteri Besar and is seen by many as PM material and therefore a threat to not just KJ but also Hishammuddin Hussein.
If you ask me, I'd go with Mukhriz any time.
But if you ask me again not about these candidates but about the whole kepimpinan negara issue, this is what I really think: Mukhriz Bin Mahathir should not be DPM or PM. Nor should Hishammuddin Bin Hussein. Khairy sil/of Abdullah Badawi should never be.
Because, with due respect, why should we still be stuck with the children and in laws and daughters and wives of our ex Prime Ministers and ex Deputy Prime Ministers?
If we are to progress as a nation and a people, we must look beyond the dynasties and clans that exist and consciously disqualify sons, sons-in-law, daugters, daughters-in-law and, for that matter, wives of ex-PMs and ex-DPMs. That means Hishammuddin Hussein, Mukhriz Mahathir, Khairy Jamaluddin, etc. We must consciously expand our vision and find a new leader from outside these great clans to take the nation higher and farther.
We are a nation of 27 million hightly literate and educated people. Surely we got talent.
Rahman Dahlan, for example. He's young, he's from Sabah, and he's proven to be a very capable Minister. Not as good looking as Khairy but he's smart and he is savvy. Of course, if you ask me, my candidate for the next Deputy Prime Minister would be the quintessential Sabahan Anifah Aman, the younger brother of the current Sabah Chief Minister. In fact, I am surprised that Najib Razak hasn't named his charasmatic Foreign Minister as his second Deputy Prime Minister yet!
How about Shabery Cheek? At 53, he's matured like as a politician and an administrator. Not Oxbridge material like KJ but people forget that he was a ferocious student leader and has gone through the mill, from mainstream Umno to a splinter within the party and to where he is today. As Information Minister, he's hands-on and knowledgeable.
Melaka's young and new Chief Minister Idris Haron is up-and-coming. A lot of people thought his predecessor's shoes would be too big for him to fill but Idris has done quietly well. Unlike KJ, he came from a poor family and feel them. He needs to be more more media savvy like Khairy though. And, please, if Idris can get them to bring down half the posters with his photograph around the state, there would still be half too many!
And shoot me, you dare discount Azeez Rahim? Say what you like about this former used car dealer, he's come a long way with guts and grit. A natural orator, a champion of causes, even Dr Mahathir thinks Azeez can get a job done where others fear even to thread! "Azeez ni berani jugak," the Tun told me recently. Kinda of remind me of the late Ghafar Baba. Did you think then Ghafar would make DPM one day? Quoting Kadir: "Dalam politik tidak ada yang mustahil. Yang tidak masuk akal pun boleh berlaku."