PETALING JAYA, Sept 30 — Akhramsyah Sanusi seems to be making inroads in the Umno Youth chief race as he puts pressure on incumbent Khairy Jamaluddin on his Malay agenda with the slogan “Hidup Melayu”.
However, his campaign has yet to give him the advantage he needed, according to observers who are watching the son of former party secretary-general Tan Sri Sanusi Junid attempting to unseat Khairy.
The contest, seen as “battle of proxies” between former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Sanusi — who was known for being the party strategist — is attracting bloggers who were part of those who had pressured Abdullah to step down four years ago.
Observers say Akhramsyah has yet to sink his feet into the movement as Khairy has still got a strong hold.
The latest issue was the Enchant Project 1MST (1Malaysia Spiritual Tourism) in Maran, Pahang, where the developer admitted receiving financial aid from the government.
Akhramsyah has called on the government to cancel the project as continuing it would invite angry response from various quarters, and this has got backing from some bloggers who are calling on Khairy to give his take on this.
Akhramsyah faced an uphill battle in the last two weeks after registration for the contest as several youth members lodged nine police reports alleging that he lied about heading Malaysian Youth Council (MYC).
The battle got pro-Akhramsyah bloggers into the act by producing newspapers reports about Akhramsyah being installed as MYC chief and calling on the movement’s members who lodged the police report to show proof of their allegations.
Khairy has been quiet in the campaign trail as he continues with his ministry’s work leaving the campaigning to his people whom he had probably briefed on how and what line to campaign on.
The use of bloggers and blogs seem to be the main platform in the battle as Umno Youth members seem to be able to pick up the issues fast and relayed them to those in rural areas who will be the movement’s delegates on October 12 voting.
Despite this, both contenders have been going round the country meeting up delegates and selling their concepts, which in reality does not appease the delegates at all.
One delegate said: “We already know what we want... so whatever both said, we just smiled and nodded... the reality is we all know who to vote already.”