Watch out for peddlers of misplaced nostalgia, Khairy warns

By Danial Dzulkifly

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 6 — Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin today warned his party to be on guard against the Pakatan Harapan (PH) Opposition alliance’s “nostalgia” tactic to woo voters in the coming general elections.

Speaking at the party wing’s general assembly, he told the youth delegates that Malaysian voters are currently at a “crossroads” because the political landscape has changed, with more Malay-based parties after the defections within Umno and their rivals in PAS.

“Compared to past elections, making that decision is difficult because the political landscape has changed immensely. There are many on the fence, observing and calculating, only to make their decision right at the end,” he said at the assembly held in the Putra World Trade Centre here.

Because of their inner conflict, Khairy said some voters may long for the old days when their choices were simpler.

“Some reminisce about their school days, the joy of being young, undisturbed by worries. Some reminisce about old flames. Love at first sight. Or the days when we were still physically active, fit and strong.

“The danger is that when we are fed misplaced nostalgia, it is distorted beyond reason, far from reality daydreams that have no resemblance to the truth,” he said.

Khairy said the four-party PH pact may appear to have grown bigger and a threat to Umno with members who have since swapped parties and were using “nostalgia” to win the hearts of voters.

“They peddle nostalgia, the Mahathir-Anwar alliance, an alliance past its prime, rebranded as one for the future.

“They peddle hope, with budgets and track records in states they hold power, apparently anchored by young talents more impressive than us,” he said.

However, he sought to assure the delegates that Umno and the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition it anchors today has strengthened under the current leadership of its president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and is more united than before.

“Our leadership is united and our hearts are one. Our struggle does not make empty promises but is underpinned by the transformation we’re undertaking for Malaysia.Therefore, the big question is why should the people vote for Barisan Nasional?

“Why should the ‘weighing scales’ be the only ones marked at the ballot box?” he asked, referring to the coalition’s logo.

He urged delegates to pass on the message that the “misplaced nostalgia and false hopes” peddled by PH were incomparable to Umno’s track record as the party has proven to carry out real structural transformations in government and as such, is the “only choice” to continue governing the country.

“At this last assembly before we head for battle, let us instill confidence in the people that Umno is the only choice, concerned for the people, capable of running the country,” Khairy said.