'We are not the government, why are netizens calling us out?' - KJ

12 Jun 2024 08:24pm
 Khairy Jamaluddin
Khairy Jamaluddin

SHAH ALAM - Former health minister Khairy Jamaluddin has addressed a recent criticism and responded to accusations that he was avoiding sensitive topics, specifically on the alleged assault involving the Regent of Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim's (TMJ) security escort.

"In this Tengku Mahkota Johor issue, I saw several netizens on social media platforms saying 'KJ won't touch on the issue of the assault' where a Grab driver lodged a police report claiming he was punched in the face by TMJ's security escort at a hotel in KL.

"Well, clearly you don't know me, you don't know Shahril. We are not going to hide. We discuss everything in the Keluar Sekejap podcast except for family and personal matters," he said in the Keluar Sekejap podcast.

Khairy expressed frustration at the expectations placed upon him and his podcast co-host Shahril Sufian Hamdan instead of pointing the questions to the government.

"I want to ask those on social media, why are you calling us out? We are not the government, we are not the police.

"We are not the Home Minister or the Transport Minister who oversee Grab drivers. If we have to answer, if you all mock KS for not answering, we might as well be the government since the government is not saying anything," he said.

It was reported that a 46-year-old deaf Grab driver was assaulted by a VIP's bodyguard after picking up four passengers outside a hotel in Kuala Lumpur, last month.

The driver reportedly sustained soft tissue injuries and sought treatment at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital.

The alleged assault involving TMJ's security escort has stirred public outrage.

"Yes, I know TMJ and I consider him a friend, I also serve the state of Johor as a youth advisor, so I want to lay the cards on the table. But that doesn't mean I don't have a stance," he said.

He however stressed the importance of justice, regardless of the individuals involved.

"I understand that, optically, this looks quite unfair because a Grab driver deserves justice and appropriate action should be taken.

"I have brought this issue to TMJ and he has already issued a statement which I think is a statement we all should read and face because he said he was unaware of this situation," he said.

Khairy recalled his tenure as the youth and sports minister, highlighting his proactive stance in handling a major alleged RM100 million embezzlement scandal by one of the ministry’s senior officers.

"Maybe they don't know me. During my tenure at the youth and sports ministry, an issue started with a figure of over RM100 million, but in the end, when it was brought to court, it was less than 30 million.

"The embezzlement started before my time, but the investigations and arrests were made during my tenure.

"When the issue exploded during my tenure, I answered the media. I didn't say 'no comment'; instead, I explained it one by one.

"During the parliamentary session, I went to parliament and gave explanations. I still remember standing in the Dewan Rakyat and answering every question," he said.