Monday, November 14, 2022

With KJ as Umno’s next poster boy, wither Tok Mat Hassan?

KL, 14 Nov: When things were falling apart for Umno after 2018, party insiders started touting the likeable deputy president Tok Mat Hassan as its future  president and, by extension, a potential Prime Minister of Malaysia. 

Such talk has become less audible these days. Tok Mat’s move to contest in the parliamentary seat of Rembau in the GE15 was met with, at best, a lukewarm reception at natuional level. On the contrary, Khairy Jamaluddin, the 3-term Rembau MP who grudginly made way for Tok Mat’s parliamentary ambition, is now being bandied about as Umno’s next “poster boy” after Ismail Sabri. KJ is contesting the Sg Buloh parliament, a seat won by Pakatan Harapan in the last election.

Wither Tok Mat Hassan?

It may be too soon to tell. Umno’s infighting in the run-up to this Friday’s polls is unprecedented. KJ’s bold admission that he wants to be PM is causing a lot of anxiety among supporters of the bigwigs and warlords in Umno. Political rivals are rubbing their hands in glee: Hamzah Zainuddin of Bersatu warned KJ that Uno will cut him into pieces after his I-want-to-be-PM declaration. KJ’s “good friend” Rafizi Ramli from Pakatan Harapan has predicted a bloody death (politically, that is) for the 46-yer old as a result of his outburst. Kerana mulut badan binasa, or so says the Malay adage.

But KJ shouldn’t care. Caretaker PM Ismail Sabri has given his blessings to KJ. “He’s qualified (to be PM),” the Bera MP, a Vice President in the party, said. Ismail is going to be in Sg Buloh to help with KJ’s campaiging. If Umno wins the election and rule once again, he has promised to make KJ a “senior minister”. 

Ismail has not made the same kind of promise to Tok Mat, even though Tok Mat is more senior in the party than KJ or even he himself. 

Wither Tok Mat?

It does not help that Rafizi Ramli’s Invoke has got to say this about Tok Mat’s parliamentary dream: Rembau is NOT safe

If Rafizi is proven right and Tok Mat fails to defend the Rembau seat that KJ had held since 2008, it should be the end of the road for him, for sure. The only consoloation is that it has happened before. In 2013, Melaka chief minister Ali Rustam decided to pursue his dream of becoming a Cabinet Minister, only to lose to Shamsul Iskandar of PKR in one of the biggest upsets ever. Read Chinese didn’t appreciate me.

Ali Rustam, when asked about his political future after the crushing defeat, said, “Time will tell”. Well, time has told.

Tak dapek den nolong doh, Tok Mat.


  1. Anonymous11:11 am

    We have heard of such talks about Tok Mat before. 'he won't survive the re-election, BN on a downward trajectory, yadda yadda yadda'. Lo and behold, he won, again. Best to take Rafizi's words with a wokful of salt.
    Its too early to say KJ will win handsomely,and even if he does, still a long way to reconvince the grassroots that he is loyal to them, not someone who abandoned them on the time of their need.
    He may not only face the fury of the grassroots, he may also have to face the wrath of Tun M, on his own.
    KJ was the tinder that started Tun M's fire after all, after the Umno Youth elections debacle.

  2. Anonymous2:27 am

    Me again. Tok Mat did his part. Would things be different if Najib was around? Believe so.
    There u have it. Now, if KJ still wants, he should aim for the President's Post. Revive Umno. Do the Reform that he kept on mentioning.
    On another note, Mr Rocky, are we at a dangerous curve? PH has lost majority of Malay votes. It went to Pas / PN. Are we witnessig the birth of zealots on both sides? Since DAP and PAS are both quite extreme. I shudder to imagine.