Khairy Jamaluddin is one of the popular faces in UMNO. He was dubbed “tall, dark and handsome” by his fans. Besides being the former Youth and Sports Minister, he was reported as one of the hottest Malaysian politicians.
Even after Pakatan Harapan won GE-14, Khairy still maintained an active presence in the mainstream media. It is only lately, that Khairy’s presence seems to be heading south. His declining popularity in the media can be seen starting from January 2019. He gave less than 200 statements as opposed to the month before, December 2018, where he gave 346 statements.
Additionally, if we look at Khairy’s movement in UMNO, he is seen to be almost irrelevant in the past month. He did not even make it to the top 20 of “UMNO” influencers list.
Comparatively, his successor Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki ranks at number 7. Asyraf has been vocal as an Opposition for the past few months. He talked on Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH), Semenyih by-election, PAS-UMNO collaboration and the New Zealand mosque attacks.
Whereas, the Rembau MP today is seen to be not in the political frontlines to talk on core issues, but rather taking a ‘backbencher’ role; tackling on social issues like Fraser Anning, the Syed Saddiq-Papagomo brawl, and Siti Kasim’s obscene hand gesture case.
Previously, PKR Vice President Rafizi Ramli in his open letter dated December 15, 2018 remarked that Khairy “was one of leading lights of the progressive voice in the country”. Rafizi also hope that Khairy will remain in UMNO and help the party to become a strong opposition.
However, looking at Khairy’s current movement in the media today, it seems like he is not fulfilling Rafizi’s ‘hope’ for him.