He told Malaysiakini in a 90-minute interview last week that only time can rehabilitate his image.
"I'm a realist; I'll have to wait for that," he said. "If I win this contest (Umno Youth chief), then maybe the resuscitation may happen quicker because I have a platform.
"But if I don't, I'll just have to wait until somebody knocks on my door and says, ‘Hey, you're still around'."
Some excerpts from the interview...the rest of it, please subscribe to Malaysiakini lah!
In your own words, who is Khairy?
Maybe you should interview my wife and ask her.
You could been seen as the most misunderstood man, so explain yourself. Who is the real Khairy?
I was about to say I don't know... I think, I'm a product of my generation, and this generation is a very complex generation. It's not completely divorce from historical baggage, and it's not completely above the, or gone pass ... not looking at things in a way that the last few generations have.
If somebody asks what that the youth of today wants, they still want this plural identity, you know, what it is we call Malaysian. You want your Chinese identity, or Indian identity or Malay identity, with that come certain things, not baggage but certain idiosyncrasy.
For example Malays, as much as you want to talk about being liberal and you still see things as opportunities for Malays (as important), and Chinese will still talk about Chinese education, Indian will still talk about marginalization of the Indian community.
So, that's still there and you can't completely divorce yourself from this ethnic question, but at the same time you have to move on and say that at some point of time in the future, we all have to come to terms that for Malaysia to move forward we have to be judge on the reach of our ability and the content of character, rather than what we are.
If one of us fall then we must pick that person up and move along, but to get there is going to be very difficult. I don't want to sound philosophical about it, maybe in me you'll see all these different contradictions pulling this generation of mine.
I don't think it's confusion; I just think that it's a lot of things happening to this generation and to this country at this point of time, which nobody can put their finger on the pulse of this nation. Because it's just become so desperate, people think so many different things. Maybe it's something that we have to go through.
You've been accused of being arrogant. Are you arrogant?
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