Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin was put on the spot at a student summit today when he was asked to name three things he liked about Pakatan Rakyat.
Khairy, who is usually a good orator, had his jaw gaping wide a few times while composing his thoughts.
“Umm… The first thing I sort of like about them, I have to be grudging about it… Oh come on give me a chance here,” he said at the 7th Annual Malaysian Students Leaders Summit in Kuala Lumpur to roars of laughter from the crowd.
When he finally managed to come up with an answer, Khairy said he admired the sense of camaraderie among Pakatan components.
“You would see DAP, PAS and PKR at the same ceramah.
“We (BN) try to do that as well but the sense of being together is quite obvious in Pakatan which I think is something to respect,” he said.For the second point, Khairy conceded that Pakatan appeared to give more space to young people, to which the room applauded in agreement.
“You don’t have to clap, you don’t have to make things worse for me, it’s already uncomfortable.
“The third (thing) I think is their (Pakatan’s) engagement on social media is a bit better than ours… Just a bit,” said Khairy, who is among the most active BN politicians on Twitter.
‘Too many old men’
To a question on whether Umno had an unwelcoming attitude towards youths, Khairy admitted that this was the case but the party was trying to change this.
He added that young people in Umno must also go the extra mile by going to the ground and cannot expect to be parachuted as candidates.
“I was Umno Youth chief but was not appointed to any ministry, I was in the wilderness for five years but I stuck (with it), learned about the programme, got to know the party and grassroots,” he said.
While some young people think that they would have more space by joining Pakatan, Khairy had an advice for them.
“Some young people say they should join Pakatan because it’s easy to be a candidate because BN has many old warlords who do not want to give way.
“But Pakatan has so many ‘young people’ that if you wait for them to ‘expire’ it’s going to take a long me.
“But we (BN) got many old men,” he quipped.