Who is Khairy Jamaluddin to tell everyone, including Ministers, to stop speculating on when the general election would be held when he has not even been elected as Member of Parliament?
Of course, everybody knows that he is the most powerful man in the country, presiding over the fourth storey of Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya and who controls and manipulates the Prime Minister’s moves and decision-making.
But such unaccountable and even unconstitutional exercise of power should not get to his head to make him publicly rebuke Ministers for speculating when the next general election would be held, although his statement was specifically directed at the Election Commission and made no mention of Cabinet Ministers.
However, when Khairy called on all parties, including the Election Commission Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman , to stop speculating on when the general election would be held, claiming that “it was Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s sole prerogative on when to call for the election”, it was clear that he was carrying out an Umno proxy war and his target was not Rashid but Cabinet Ministers like the Home Minister and Umno Secretary-General Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad and Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid.
It was only three days ago that Azmi said publicly that the general election was near – and in the past ten days, Radzi had been declaring that “It’s time for a leadership change in Perlis”, openly advocating that the current Perlis Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim should be replaced by Azmi.
However, standing in the way of Radzi and Azmi is Khairy, who is aligned with Shahidan as the Umno warlord in Perlis who could deliver what Khairy needed in Umno power stakes – to the extent that the scandals of Shahidan which Radzi had brought to the personal attention of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had been completely neutralized by Khairy.
Khairy is wrong however when he claimed that everybody should stop speculating on when the next general election would be held. This is because it is the right and even prerogative of every Malaysian to speculate as to when the next general election would be held, although it is the Prime Minister’s prerogative to decide when to call for the election.
The Prime Minister’s prerogative does not extend to denying Malaysians, in whatever capacity, the right to speculate as to when the next general election would be held.
Of course, there will be those who will argue that this prerogative of the Prime Minister to decide when to call for election has been usurped by Khairy. Whatever the truth, there can be no doubt that next to Abdullah, Khairy would be the first to know when the next general election would be held.
Why should the date as to when Parliament would be dissolved for general election to the held be kept in such high secrecy, causing enormous inconveniences all round – when in first-world developed countries where there is more developed sense of fairplay and justice, like the United Kingdom and Australia, greater notice is given as to when a general election would be held.
Since Abdullah is a proponent of a “First-World Infrastructure, First-World Mentality” concept, is he prepared to adopt such best international practices and give proper and adequate notice to all concerned about the holding of the next general election?
Considering that the Umno general assembly could be held on Deepavali, utterly insensitive of the religious festival of the Hindus, I do not rule out Parliament being dissolved during the Chinese New Year, even before Chap Goh Mei on February 21, 2008.