It's an unenviable battle that Dato' Ariff Sabri aka Sakmongkol AK47 is fighting - trying to change the general public's negative perception of one controversial character in our national politics - Khairy Jamaludin, "KJ".
As if that's not enough, Sakmongkol is also trying to get the public - especially Umno members - to review how they (overly?) positively perceive Mukhriz Mahathir. It's of special interest due to the tussle for the Umno Ketua Pemuda post later this week, of course.
Oh, there's another contender - former Selangor Menteri Besar Khir Toyo, who is also a formidable factor in the race. But I'm going to generally ignore him here. No, not out of spite but because of the specific topic that I'm going to touch on.
Sakmongkol has mentioned about "Perception", "Tanggapan" of Khairy before. Plus that of Mukhriz, of course. Unfortunately, many commentators simply ignore what he's trying to say and are so quick to unleash a barrage of anti-Khairy statements, plus accusations and snide remarks against Sakmongkol, without caring to consider the points. To some extent, that's to be expected due to... well, Perception - Khairy is saddled with an extremely negative one while Mukhriz is on the other side of the scale.
Here is something from Sakmongkol's latest post of The Tyranny of status quo:
Perceptions are illusory and are dependent on personal and private motives... Perception is a tricky variable, subject to manipulations and subterfuge. Reality is obtainable via direct interaction. I am sure that those 98% of the 794 delegates who have met up with KJ are wiser to identify the differences.
This one is interesting: "Reality is obtainable via direct interaction." No arguments about this one. And this is the situation and problem we the public face: How many of us had actually met Khairy and Mukhriz? ... Catching glimpses of them at functions don't count - "met" as in "interacted"?
But yet, so many people so easily and happily deliver their judgment of "what type of a devious person Khairy is"! Folks, it's okay to "sangka baik" - as Mukhriz is receiving - when we don't really know someone. But to "buruk sangka" is not okay!... and you have to admit that many of us have done this injustice to Khairy.
Sakmongkol, in a tongue-in-cheek manner (or is it?) has offered a way out, to absolve this wrong against Khairy:
It's now time, for those who assigned blame to KJ for all the misfortunes that have befallen them to pay KJ for his services for being the punching bag.
Yes, folks - Khairy Jamaludin has been the unsung hero for Umno by taking in most of the blows against it - and shielding others who were also guilty. This is one of the marks of a leader - KHAIRY JAMALUDIN FOR KETUA PEMUDA!