“Hey, it’s not nepotism,” he joked.
After all, Shahrir is from Umno while his kid brother is from PAS.
In the recent general election, Khalid defeated Umno’s Datuk Aziz Shamsuddin to win the Shah Alam parliamentary seat.
So the august house will see the unusual case of two brothers on opposing sides.
“That would be interesting, wouldn’t it?” he said.
Shahrir said he and his brother know each other very well but noted that they are very different people.
“Our difference is simple. He went to the UK in the 1970s during the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. And I am a graduate from a local university.
“I was in MU (Universiti Malaya) during the 1969 racial riots. So it was a time of more (Malay) nationalism and the NEP and deliberations of the economic policies. So we were on very different paths,” he said.
Shahrir went on to become political secretary to Tun Musa Hitam when his mentor (Musa) was a deputy minister (1973-1975).
Then he rose to become political secretary to two Prime Ministers, first Tun Razak and then Tun Hussein Onn, before becoming an MP himself.
At the age of 34, Shahrir was one of the youngest to be appointed a minister (1983).
But he was chucked into political wilderness after the 1987 team A and team B fight and has only recently been brought back from cold storage.
Now, at the age of 59, he is the new Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister.
Shahrir said this would be his last term as MP, adding that he has no regrets because his journey has been a life-learning process.
“Life is the best school,” he said philosophically.
And as minister of a rather difficult ministry, he said, he is acutely aware of what people feel, and doing something about it is the reason he is in politics in the first place.
This is where Shahrir and Khalid – who are on different paths – share a common bond.
“We both have the same sense of concern for the common ordinary man and the same sense of public service,” said Shahrir, who believes that both he and his brother may see the same problems but “because we are different, our diagnosis and prescription will be different”.
Posted by bakaq a.k.a. ~penarik beca at 6:11 PM